Musician Nick Jonas has long used his platform to advocate for those with diabetes, as he was diagnosed with the type 1 form of the disease a child. In a recently released video that marks the 18-year anniversary of his diagnosis at age 13, he’s sharing the key symptoms his parents noticed, and helping launch a new campaign to ensure others are aware of them, too.
Jonas shared the important message with his mother Denise, recalling when they noticed things weren’t quite right with his health.
Nick says, “I was experiencing all the symptoms that we now know are the signs you should look for.”
Those signs included frequent urination, excessive thirst, exhaustion, and unexplained weight loss. Unfortunately, at the time, he says the discussion around diabetes wasn’t so prevalent, so it wasn’t on people’s radar as much as it is now. However, because his parents were tuned into his health, like he says he is now with his new daughter, they were able get his issues addressed.
Denise says, “Nick was very enthusiastic as a child. He was very driven, so when he started to exhibit these signs, I was alarmed, but I think I was in denial.”
The Jonases are using their own experience to expand on a campaign with the diabetes nonprofit Beyond Type 1: #SeeTheSigns. Nick says the goal of their new #SeeTheSigns angle is to draw people other than just the patient into the discussion, and to have parents and other loved ones be very aware of what to look for. Denise says this should be part of knowing what’s going on with your child physically, emotionally, and mentally.
This is important information for many families, as type 1 diabetes is prevalent. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 304,000 Americans under 20 were living with diagnosed type 1 diabetes in 2021.
To help children who may be undiagnosed, the Jonases are encouraging all the loved ones in a child’s life to be on the lookout for symptoms.
Nick says, “Whether you’re a parent or parental figure in someone’s life, or just a big brother or sister, whatever your relationship is, be on the lookout. See those signs. Go get checked. Talk to your health care provider about diabetes.”
He encouraged people to find out more at beyondtype1.org/seethesigns.