Sunday, May 4, 2008

Former Vanderbilt QB diagnosed with diabetes

Former Vanderbilt quarterback Jay Cutler, now starting for the Denver Broncos, was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes on April 16 and confirmed the news to the public last Thursday.

Although not life-threatening, it is the most serious form of diabetes, where the pancreas stops producing insulin which is needed to convert food into energy. As a result, Type I diabetics have to receive daily insulin injections and keep close tabs on their blood sugar levels.

In this article, Cutler, who has no family history of diabetes, explains how his lack of arm strength at the end of last season and major weight loss (35 pounds) should have alerted him to the fact that something was wrong. Now that he's receiving insulin injections, he feels "100 times better ", regained much of his old strength and thinks he'll be even better than he was last year.

Jay Cutler has the chance to be a spokesperson for a disease that affects millions of Americans, writes Dave Krieger of the Rocky Mountain News.

Cutler has had a solid pro career thus far. After being drafted in the first round, 11th overall by Denver in 2006, the former Commodore set an NFL record as the first rookie QB to throw multiple touchdown passes in his first four games. Over his first 21 games, Cutler has thrown for 29 touchdowns against 19 interceptions for a very good 88.2 passer rating.

Cutler seems to be handling the life-changing news very well. Although his daily routine will be forever different, there's no reason Cutler can't become a premier NFL quarterback.

“It’s a big adjustment,” Cutler said. “You’re 25 years old, you’re used to eating whatever you want, doing whatever you want. Now, you’re counting carbs and eating healthier and injecting insulin at the table. You’ve got to have your insulin, your needles, your glucose meter, yeah, it’s a big change. But it’s something you have to deal with. This is a serious, serious disease, and I'm going to have it for the rest of my life. It's not going to change me on the field."

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