Nick Jonas Tackles Type 1 Diabetes Positively, Talks about Diet, Healthy Lifestyle, and Encourages Other Diabetics

Photo Credit: Christopher Peterson/Splash News
Nick Jonas

Photo Credit: Christopher Peterson/Splash News

At only 23 years old, Nick Jonas is a multi-talented superstar. Nick and his brothers Joe and Kevin formed pop rock band Jonas Brothers, and released four studio albums between 2005 and 2010. Nick Jonas has since released two solo albums, and stars in the drama series Kingdom. What makes his success even more incredible is that Nick Jonas has diabetes.

A photo posted by Nick Jonas (@nickjonas) on

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Nick Jonas’s interviews on his diabetes have appeared in various publications, where the superstar singer and songwriter detailed his experience with the disease. It’s been over a decade since Nick Jonas’s type 1 diabetes diagnosis in November 2005, and he’s been able to manage the condition with a proper diet and a healthy lifestyle.

A month or two before Jonas’s diagnosis, he began to notice symptoms such as persistent thirst, weight loss, a poor attitude, and going to the bathroom all the time. Nick Jonas’s weight loss was substantial: he lost around 15 pounds between two to three weeks. This body transformation was certainly challenging.

A video posted by Nick Jonas (@nickjonas) on


Nick Jonas visited his doctor and discovered his blood sugar was over 700. He soon began taking insulin injections and checking his blood sugar regularly. Jonas uses a glucose monitor called Dexcom CGM, which gives him a reading every five minutes right on his smartphone. He’s what’s known as a Dexcom Warrior, part of a group of users that collaborate with the California company on public awareness campaigns about diabetes, and the advantages of using the Dexcom glucose monitor. As a result of these diabetes tools, Nick Jonas hasn’t had too many low blood sugar episodes.

Nick Jonas is now an advocate in the diabetes community, and co-founded Beyond Type 1, which is a charity that funds and creates programs for people living with the condition. Nick Jonas and Sun Life Financial have also recently teamed up; Sun Life is working with Beyond Type 1 to offer select members of the JDRF Quebec and the Canadian Diabetes Association the opportunity to meet Jonas, and even attend a concert in Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, or Toronto.

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Nick Jonas

Nick Jonas in downtown Manhattan, New York. 07/21/2016. Credit: Wylde/Splash News.

What Is Type 1 Diabetes?

When Nick was first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, he didn’t really know much about the disease. Type 1 diabetes is also called juvenile or insulin-dependent diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the secretion and production of insulin by the pancreas are severely deficient, and the condition usually develops during childhood or adolescence. People like Nick Jonas must inject themselves with insulin and monitor their blood sugar daily due to their lower insulin levels.

Type 1 diabetes is thought to be an autoimmune condition where the immune system attacks and damages the pancreatic cells that produce insulin. In the U.S., 5% to 10% of all diabetic cases account for type 1 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes, or non-insulin-dependent diabetes, is much more common, affecting 90% to 95% of American diabetics. It often strikes during adulthood.

Nick Jonas’s Healthy Snack and Diet Tips

Nick Jonas is currently in the best health of his life, and has successfully learned how to manage the condition. Part of the healthy lifestyle Nick Jonas follows takes the form of his diabetes diet.

Nick Jonas has shared his healthy snack tips and diet advice, too. For instance, he always has nuts backstage when performing a concert, and his meals are mostly low in carbs and high in protein.

A photo posted by Nick Jonas (@nickjonas) on


Jonas had about six weeks to gain 12 to 15 pounds of muscle before filming Kingdom. He went from consuming 3,000 calories daily to 4,200. For breakfast, Jonas ate an omelet with veggies and cashew cheese, plus some fruit and a turkey-meat patty. Lunch and dinner were veggies, nuts, and lean proteins, and snacks were snap peas with peanut sauce.

Jonas also trained with fighting coach Joe Stephenson and strength-building coach Gregg Miele. The workouts focused on different regions of the body, including legs, core, and upper body. Jonas originally did three sessions a day, but now only exercises three or four times a week.


Sources:
Edelman, D., “Superstar Nick Jonas Shares His Hidden Life with Diabetes (Interview),” Diabetes Daily website; https://www.diabetesdaily.com/blog/superstar-nick-jonas-shares-his-hidden-life-with-diabetes-interview-136996/, last accessed August 5, 2016.
Rickard, A., “Sun Life and Nick Jonas Working Together in Fight Against Diabetes,” The Insurance & Investment Journal website, July 25, 2016; http://insurance-journal.ca/article/sun-life-and-nick-jonas-working-together-in-fight-against-diabetes/, last accessed August 5, 2016.
Hoskins, M., “Nick Jonas Talks His First Decade with Diabetes, and Partnering with Dexcom,” Healthline website, June 23, 2015; http://www.healthline.com/diabetesmine/nick-jonas-talks-his-first-diabetes-decade-and-dexcom, last accessed August 5, 2016.
Von Wartburg, L., “Type 1 Pop Star, Nick Jonas Tells His Story,” Diabetes Health, April 26, 2007; https://www.diabeteshealth.com/type-1-pop-star-nick-jonas-tells-his-story/, last accessed August 5, 2016.
Oshmyansky, R., “Nick Jonas Opens Up about Diabetes: I Thought I Was Going to Die,” ET Online, June 26, 2015; http://www.etonline.com/news/166931_nick_jonas_opens_up_about_diabetes_i_thought_i_was_going_to_die/, last accessed August 5, 2016.
Balch, J., et al., Prescription for Natural Cures: A Self-Care Guide for Treating Health Problems with Natural Remedies Including Diet, Nutrition, Supplements, and Other Holistic Methods (Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2004), 241.
Bueno, A., “How Nick Jonas Got His Insane ‘Hulk-ish’ Body: 4,200 Calories a Day!” ET Online website, October 23, 2014; http://www.etonline.com/news/152960_how_nick_jonas_got_his_insane_body/, last accessed August 5, 2016.
Hope-Kowalski, K., “Exclusive: Nick Jonas Shares His Favorite Healthy Snacks That Help Him Manage His Diabetes,” Twist website, May 13, 2016; http://www.twistmagazine.com/posts/nick-jonas-diabetes-singer-shares-how-he-stays-healthy-dishes-snack-tips-102136, last accessed August 5, 2016.

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