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Nick Jonas Shares His Diabetes Diagnosis Experience

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - MAY 25: Nick Jonas attends Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation's 11th Annual 'Big Fighters, Big Cause' Charity Boxing Night presented by B. Riley Securities at The Beverly Hilton on May 25, 2022 in Beverly Hills, California .  (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation)

Image source: Getty / Michael Kovac

Nick Jonas has had type 1 diabetes for almost as long as his career. The Jonas Brothers singer was 13 when his pediatrician diagnosed him with the condition. “At the time, I thought it might end my dream of being able to tour the world and play our music,” Jonas told the nonprofit organization Beyond Type 1. “It was scary.”

Type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is thought to be caused by an autoimmune response, meaning the body accidentally attacks itself, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Specifically, it destroys the cells in the pancreas that make insulin. Family history and genetics or exposure to viruses and other environmental factors can make children more likely to develop type 1 diabetes. And while it’s more common in children, teenagers and young adults, the condition can develop at any age, according to the CDC.

In a recent Instagram post for Beyond Type 1’s diabetes campaign, Jonas shared the top four signs that prompted him to seek medical care, which ultimately led to his diabetes diagnosis: excessive thirst, weight loss, frequent urination and irritability . “These can be recognized as common signs of type 1 diabetes,” Jonas wrote in the caption.

“My blood sugar must have been high 700mg/dL for a long period of time because I lost a significant amount of weight in a short period of time, almost 25 pounds in two weeks,” he told Beyond Type 1. “I was constantly thirsty and needed to use the bathroom. My attitude and everything was off. I was very irritated which is also a sign. And I was having cramps all the time.” He knew something was off and that “if I didn’t get care soon, I was going to be in trouble.”

Fellow musicians joined Jonas in the comments section to share their own stories, like Austin Kramer, who said: “I lost a ton of weight and had to pee every hour😮, thanks for sharing! #t1d .” Jonas’ effort to raise awareness on World Diabetes Day is a continuation of his work as an outspoken advocate for diabetes health and awareness.

Jonas said that managing the condition comes with challenges, but ultimately advised: “There are going to be days that are harder than others and it’s just important not to get down on yourself. It’s a journey. And if you can take a deep breath in those difficult moments and allow yourself to have a partner to reset, then it’s going to be okay.”

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