Touchdown for Diabetes

by Mark Benson on October 23, 2011

Jay Cutler quarterbacks his diabetes

Born in April 29, 1983, Jay Cutler is the current quarterback for the NFL team Chicago bears. After coming out of Vanderbilt University, he was drafted in the first round by the Denver Broncos in the 2006 NFL Draft. After three seasons in the Mile High City, he was moved to the Windy City team in 2009 where his career flourished.

When he goes to practice, there are two basic things in the bag of Cutler. First is his playbook and the other is his diabetes pack. While he is the focal point of the offense of the Bears, he also has to check his own blood sugar every so often with a lancet and diabetes strips.

His secret, he says is achieving balance. His daily regimen includes testing his blood glucose levels when he wakes up, eats the right food. After eating he tests his blood sugar levels again before he leaves for the practice facility. Before he takes to the field, he tests himself again. He is careful about his intake and before he sleeps, he tests himself again. According to him, “It’s part of your life, you know?”

Jay Cutler is a Type 1 diabetic playing in the most demanding football league in the world. He is the number one offensive weapon on his team and manages the play during the game. Like how he manages his offense, he is very diligent when it comes to his health. For someone who just learned he had this life long condition on his 25th birthday, he is adjusting to the way of life for a diabetic.

One of the major adjustments he has made in dealing with this condition is educating others around him. Cutler relates, “Everyone’s got a special drink or something for me to try that’s supposedly either gonna ‘cure’ it or ‘help’ it. Or people say, ‘Hey, you’ve been eating bad’ or ‘You’ve been drinking alcohol and that’s what brought it on.’ They mean well, but they don’t understand.”

His first years in the league were greatly affected by his condition, especially the 2007 season. He lost 33 pounds, lost much of his footwork on passes and increasingly felt fatigued. Only after he learned how to manage his condition, together with the new plays in his team, was he able to live up to the expectations as a high draft pick. He became more focused, organized and goal-oriented, not only with his diabetes but how he plays and how he lives his life.

Now, his team has been supporting his special condition. He has prepared meals on the road with measured carbohydrate counts. Aside from his personal kit, the medical staff of the team also is well prepared for instances due to his condition. This includes hypoglycemia and insulin at hand. This is a long way off from his dismal 2007 season where despite his increasing appetite, he was losing weight, losing power and losing his game.

Now with his diabetes properly managed, he has regained his weight and with it all his skills as one of the top quarterbacks in the game today. His life changed because of diabetes and now he has made the right plays to score touchdowns against diabetes.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the Community and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please see your doctor before making any changes to your diabetes management plan.

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