Amelia Lily, X-Factor Contestant, Discusses Her Type 1 Diabetes
Most people don’t know, however, that Lily was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of three, and that her diabetes requires her to carefully manage her meals, her blood sugar levels, and her daily insulin injections as reported by diabeticlive.com.
Tampa, FL (PRWEB) September 14, 2011
Amelia Lily, X-Factor Contestant, Discusses Her Type 1 Diabetes: Amelia Lily, a competitor on the British singing talent show X-Factor, recently received glowing praise from the judges for her rendition of Janis Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart.” One judge raved, “That was amazing. You blew up the stage,” and added that most people work their whole lives just to reach the level at which the 16-year-old Lily is already performing as reported by diabeticlive.com.
Most people don’t know, however, that Lily was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of three, and that her diabetes requires her to carefully manage her meals, her blood sugar levels, and her daily insulin injections.
Ã¢Å“I have to monitor my blood constantly. It is hard and singing is tiring,” says Lily of the disease. She’s scared that low blood sugar could cause her to pass out while singing one day, and the stress of performing adds a layer of complexity to the way she deals with her diabetes. “I make sure I have carbohydrates and bananas so my blood sugar is a bit higher than normal because singing uses a lot of energy.” If a diabetic’s blood sugar falls too low, he or she could become weak and lose consciousness, a situation that the teenage pop singer from Middlesbrough, England obviously wants to avoid.
In Type 1 diabetes, the immune system erroneously destroys the beta cells that reside in the pancreas. These beta cells are normally responsible for producing insulin that takes glucose from the bloodstream and into cells; when we eat, our blood sugar rises and insulin is released by the pancreas, which causes nearby cells to absorb the glucose and use it as energy.
However, when the insulin-releasing beta cells are destroyed by the immune system, they are no longer able to release insulin and thus it sits in the bloodstream, where the body is unable to use it for energy. Diabetics commonly experience a range of symptoms from weakness and fatigue to increased hunger and thirst.
Type 1 diabetes is commonly diagnosed in childhood, adolescence, or young adulthood. Most Type 1 diabetics maintain their insulin levels with supplementary injections or insulin pumps that automatically detect blood glucose levels and release insulin whenever necessary. Type 1 diabetics typically give themselves with one to four insulin injections a day, as does Amelia Lily. Type 1 diabetics must also test their blood glucose levels, typically through a finger prick test that involves drawing a small amount of blood from a finger and testing it for the presence of sugar.
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