Among the nearly 26 million American adults and children living with diabetes is an elite group of professional athletes, unstopped by their medical condition. You probably know these stars for their dazzling moves on the court, soaring touchdown passes, or powerful tennis stroke. But you may not be aware that they're excelling against top flight competitors while managing a disease for 1 last update 03 Jul 2020 that demands constant attention and intensive management. Find out how these celebrities with diabetes have risen to the top of their game.Among the nearly 26 million American adults and children living with diabetes is an elite group of professional athletes, unstopped by their medical condition. You probably know these stars for their dazzling moves on the court, soaring touchdown passes, or powerful tennis stroke. But you may not be aware that they're excelling against top flight competitors while managing a disease that demands constant attention and intensive management. Find out how these celebrities with diabetes have risen to the top of their game.
Defensive tackle Kyle Love, 26, was released from the New England Patriots earlier this year after a team physical revealed that he had type 2 diabetes. Wasting no time, Love responded by making adjustments to his diet. He cut out sugary juices as well as sweets, which were his downfall, he admitted to ESPN. Shortly after being waived by the Patriots, Love was picked up by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Love told ESPN he is confident his diabetes won't be a problem — or alter his playing style. "I'm a fighter," he said, declaring that the recent changes to his health and career will only drive him to work harder.
Gary Hall Jr.
Olympic swimmer Gary Hall Jr. learned he had type 1 diabetes while training for the 2000 summer games in Sydney, Australia. He was devastated. "I was told it was the end of my swimming career," Hall told C.F.K. magazine. "It's hard to argue with a doctor." But instead of relenting, he found new strength, learning all he could about type 1 diabetes and how athletes can manage the disease together with the rigors of training. Hall went on to capture gold in Sydney and again in Athens in 2004. Today, Hall uses his celebrity status to advocate for others with the disease and prove that diabetes doesn't have to diminish your dreams.
NFL quarterback Jay Cutler was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2008 while preparing for his third season starting for the Denver Broncos. He quickly adjusted to using insulin and counting carbohydrates to manage the disease and went on to earn his first career Pro Bowl selection that December. Now with the Chicago Bears, Cutler told ESPN that on days he has a noon kickoff, he has "a light breakfast, a little fruit and some insulin and I'm good to go." Like other celebrities with diabetes, Cutler is a great role model, showing others that diabetes doesn't have to stand in the way of achieving your goals.
Billie Jean King
Billie Jean King, now 69, was the dominant player on the women's tennis circuit for more than a decade. After being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2007, King focused on making lifestyle changes to beat her new "opponent." "For me, managing my diabetes has been all about making smart food choices without depriving myself of the foods I love — maintaining a healthy relationship with food," King told the Huffington Post. She shed 35 pounds by practicing portion control and becoming a more mindful eater. As a high-profile athlete with diabetes, King encourages children with diabetes to be active and participate in sports.
Earl "The Pearl" Monroe
NBA star and Hall of Famer Earl Monroe, now 67, is known for his dynamic moves on the basketball court. A guard for the Baltimore Bullets and the New York Knicks, he owned the hardwood from 1967 until 1980. In 1998, Monroe learned that he had type 2 diabetes after his symptoms tipped him off: incredible thirst, increased urination, and excessive sweating. But Monroe has found living with diabetes isn't as difficult as he first thought. He makes it a priority to eat a healthy diet, exercise — a favorite is walking his dog — and take his medication on schedule. Monroe encourages others to manage their disease by getting active and making smart food choices.
reverses diabetes type 2 jogging (🔴 cause hypertension) | reverses diabetes type 2 explainedhow to reverses diabetes type 2 for Former NHL hockey player Nick Boynton, 34, is a pro at managing his diabetes on and off the ice. Canadian-born Boynton learned he had type 1 after being drafted by the Boston Bruins in 1999 and attending their training camp. Initially, he was concerned that having diabetes would interfere with his performance in the rink. But it didn't take Boynton long to master an insulin regimen that allowed him to control of his blood sugar during high-intensity practices and games. Boynton successfully managed the condition throughout his 11-year, Stanley Cup-winning professional career.
David "Boomer" Wells
Pitcher-turned-baseball-commentator David Wells revealed to his fans he had type 2 diabetes in March 2007, when he was hurling for the L.A. Dodgers. At the time, he told the media he was concerned, but vowed to make lifestyle changes "to beat it." He cut rice, pasta, potatoes, white bread, and fast food from his diet along with alcohol. Wells, now 49, hopes that others who see how well he is living with diabetes realize that they can have the same results.
LPGA golfer Kelli Kuehne, 35, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 10 years old and never let the disease stand in the way of her desire to become a professional player. During her college years at the University of Texas, she worked closely with athletic trainers, learning how to fuel up appropriately to avoid blood sugar highs and lows on the course. As a spokesperson for JDRF, a type 1 research foundation, Keuhne raises money for diabetes research and advocates for greater awareness and education about type 1 diabetes. "Get educated, learn about the disease, don't be the victim, work at it every day…it becomes part of you," Kuehne wrote on her web site. "It's what makes me me."
Challenges Faced by Athletes With Diabetes
Is it cold on the football field or hot in the ballpark? Will you be playing for two hours or sprinting for a quick mile? Environment, intensity, and duration are all factors that can affect blood sugar in athletes with diabetes, said Robert Powell, CDE, a certified clinical exercise specialist and certified diabetes educator at the University of Pittsburgh Diabetes Institute. Every athlete, pro or amateur, has to monitor blood sugar before, after, and possibly during each game or match and regulate insulin accordingly. Fortunately, Powell said, professional athletes have medical staff and athletic trainers who can help them manage their blood sugar while training and competing.