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Last updated on April 16, 2014 at 17:34 EDT

Pop Star Nick Jonas Speaks Out About Diabetes

June 26, 2008

The Jonas Brothers are one of today’s hottest bands, with one of the summer’s most highly-anticipated tours, appearances on TV, and a new album coming out in August. But what most people don’t realize is that while he’s singing and playing on stage with his brothers, Nick Jonas, 15, is also wearing an insulin pump. The cover story of the July 2008 issue of Diabetes Forecast, the consumer magazine of the American Diabetes Association, shares the Jonas family’s struggle with Nick’s diagnosis of type 1 diabetes in November 2005, and will inspire all parents who are coping with their daughter’s or son’s diabetes.

“Nicholas is so self-sufficient,” says his mother, Denise Jonas. “Even at that age he was quick to learn how to give himself shots… And I wanted him to take over because I knew I wasn’t going to be around him all the time.” The Jonases also have multiple back up systems in place behind the scenes; family members, assistants, and even the band’s security team carry glucagon, fruit snacks, and an extra insulin pump.

It took the Jonas family more than a year to address Nick’s condition publicly, but since then he’s been a strong advocate and role model for others with the disease. He even wrote a song about being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, established a foundation with his brothers called Change for the Children, and gives concert tickets to young people with type 1 diabetes. Nick believes that managing diabetes has brought him and his mother closer together, stating that their relationship is “definitely stronger and more supportive… She is always watching me and caring.”

The support and appreciation is mutual. Denise Jonas says of her 15-year-old rock star son, “I know who he is and know that he can accomplish anything he sets his mind to, so I don’t think that he will ever allow diabetes, or anything else, to slow him down.”

Also in the July 2008 issue:

Insulin restriction (“Diabulemia”): many women and girls with type 1 diabetes are restricting their insulin use in order to lose weight — despite the devastating cost to their health. This combination of diabetes and an eating disorder has been identified in girls as young as 13 and women as old as 60, with one recent study suggesting that up to 30 percent of women with type 1 have limited their insulin in order to lose weight at some point in their lives. Insulin restriction increases the risk of diabetes related complications such as kidney disease and foot problems, and increases risk of death. Read more about this serious disorder in Diabetes Forecast and learn what warning signs to look for.

In addition, the July 2008 issue of Diabetes Forecast offers information about:

— The perils of pedicures — safety measures to look out for when you go to the salon

— How good fats and positive thinking may help your diabetes management

— The Power of Balance — the role balance should have in your fitness regimen

Diabetes Forecast has been America’s leading diabetes magazine for 60 years. Each full-color issue offers the latest news on diabetes research and treatment. Its mission is to provide information, inspiration, and support to people with diabetes, helping them to live a healthier lifestyle, control their diabetes, and prevent or treat its many complications. The magazine is published monthly by the American Diabetes Association.

The American Diabetes Association is the nation’s premier voluntary health organization supporting diabetes research, information and advocacy. The Association’s mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. Founded in 1940, the Association provides services to hundreds of communities across the country. For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit . Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.

 Contact: Dayle Kern dkern@diabetes.org (703) 549-1500 ext. 2290  

SOURCE: American Diabetes Association