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Singer RaeLynn on managing diabetes with life on road

 
  • The Love Triangle artist RaeLynn was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes aged 12
  • She was rushed to hospital suffering life-threatening diabetic ketoacidosis
  • The complication occurs when the body starts running out of insulin
  • She admits that she ‘faltered a bit’ in her diabetes management as a teenager  
  • But she now leads a healthy lifestyle and is speaking out to inspire others

Claudia Tanner For Mailonline

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Country artist RaeLynn has spoken out about living with diabetes to inspire others with the condition.

The former Voice semi-finalist has revealed she was diagnosed with the type 1 form at 12 years old.

Because the disease causes the body to not produce any insulin, the 22-year-old has regular shots of the hormone to keep her glucose levels normal.

The Love Triangle singer admits that she ‘faltered a bit’ in her diabetes management as a teenager but now leads a healthy lifestyle. 

She wants others to know that having the condition doesn’t stop you from living a full life. 

‘I wasn’t checking my blood sugar enough, didn’t take care of myself, and was always tired,’ she told Diabetes Daily.  

Country artist RaeLynn has revealed she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 12

Country artist RaeLynn has revealed she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 12

Country artist RaeLynn has revealed she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 12

The 22-year-old - pictured with husband Joshua - says the condition is manageable

The 22-year-old - pictured with husband Joshua - says the condition is manageable

The 22-year-old – pictured with husband Joshua – says the condition is manageable

The pint-sized Texan – who married her longtime love Joshua Davis last year – says feeling sick shocked her into action and she now follows her doctor’s care plan and adapted her lifestyle.

‘I learned I can lead a healthy and normal life, and diabetes doesn’t stop me from living my dreams.’

She says she is in fact grateful that her diagnosis has taught her how to live a healthy lifestyle.

Diabetic ketoacidosis

RaeLynn told the website that she began suffering symptoms such as weight loss and needing to frequently use the toilet – which she says her family thought was normal for a preteen.

Then one day, she felt sick and her mother rushed her to hospital. After getting her blood sugar tested she was told she was in diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).

RaeLynn reached the semi finals on The Voice

RaeLynn reached the semi finals on The Voice

She married Joshua in Nashville, Tennessee

She married Joshua in Nashville, Tennessee

The former Voice contestant says she has learn the hard way the effect on her body of not leading a healthy lifestyle

The Texan says she is grateful that her diagnosis has taught her how to live healthy

The Texan says she is grateful that her diagnosis has taught her how to live healthy

The Texan says she is grateful that her diagnosis has taught her how to live healthy

This happens when the body starts to run out of insulin and harmful substances called ketones build up in the body, which can be life-threatening if not spotted and treated quickly.

Symptoms include passing out, abdominal pain, confusion and erratic breathing. 

After spending two weeks in Texas Children’s Hospital for two weeks, RaeLynn began learning about how to live healthily with the condition. 

Staying well with diabetes 

Now, by partnering up with diabetes care organization Novo Nordisk, RaeLynn has become an ambassador ‘to teach people with diabetes that it shouldn’t hinder them from following their dreams’.

‘I am living proof that this can happen,’ said the For A Boy singer, who released her full length debut WildHorse in March.

She stressed that diabetes is a condition that can be managed.

‘As I grew up, my parents and I knew they were not always going to be standing next to me to offer help – especially in an emergency. 

‘The earlier I knew how to take care of my diabetes, the better it would be for me.’ 

Eating a healthy, balanced diet is very important if you have diabetes. However, you don’t need to avoid certain food groups altogether, stresses NHS Choices.

You can have a varied diet and enjoy a wide range of foods – as long as you eat regularly and make healthy choices.

The advice is to make adaptations when cooking meals, such as reducing the amount of fat, salt and sugar you eat, and increasing the amount of fiber.

Experts say you don’t need to completely exclude sugary and high-fat foods from your diet, but they should be limited.

And physical activity is important too as it lowers your blood glucose level.  

WHAT IS TYPE 1 DIABETES? 

Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person’s blood sugar (glucose) level to become too high.

The hormone insulin, produced by the pancreas, is responsible for controlling the amount of glucose in the blood.

There are two main types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 – where the pancreas doesn’t produce any insulin
  • Type 2 – where the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin or the body’s cells don’t react to insulin 

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition, which means your immune system attacks healthy body tissue by mistake. In this case, it attacks the cells in your pancreas.

Your damaged pancreas is then unable to produce insulin. So, glucose cannot be moved out of your bloodstream and into your cells.

Type 1 diabetes is often inherited (runs in families), so the autoimmune reaction may be genetic.

It’s not known exactly what triggers the immune system to attack the pancreas, but some researchers have suggested it may be a viral infection. 

Typical symptoms of type 1 diabetes are:

  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Passing urine more often than usual, particularly at night
  • Feeling very tired
  • Weight loss and loss of muscle bulk

The symptoms of type 1 diabetes usually develop very quickly in young people (over a few days or weeks). In adults, the symptoms often take longer to develop (a few months).

Source: NHS Choices 

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