Healthy Living

Major League Player Battles Diabetes While Excelling on the Field

Major League Player Battles Diabetes While Excelling on the Field

Adam Duvall of the Cincinnati Reds Photo Credit: AP Photo/John Minchillo Source:

Most people dreamt about being an astronaut, firefighter or footballer when they were young. So many days during childhood were spent thinking about different activities and professions people wanted to practice when they were older. Everything was possible in those fantastic worlds of childhood in which everything is possible and where all dreams seem reachable. However, sometimes these dreams can be limited by conditions that generate anxiety and fear.

For some, these concerns begin at an early age, especially when they face the challenge of living with a chronic conditions such as diabetes. Having to overcome certain obstacles to achieve their goals can impose limits for some people. Nevertheless, there are some cases that can serve as inspiration for people with diabetes, knowing that the limit is imposed by themselves and not by their disease.

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There are some cases of famous people who have achieved many of their goals in the entertainment world, some of them are: Nick Jonas, Halle Berry, Tom Hanks and Salma Hayek are some of the examples of famous people with diabetes.

Nevertheless, there are some cases of people who are not that popular because they are not as famous, or in some cases go unnoticed. This article is focussed on one of these special cases of people who have overcome their disease and are achieving more than what people with their same condition would have expected.

Leaving diabetes outside the field

The case of the young Adam Duvall is something to highlight. The 29-year-old baseball player is currently playing for the Cincinnati Reds as a left fielder is one of the best examples of successful careers held by people with diabetes.

The young player started at his professional career at the Giants A-ball club when he was 22 years old. At that age Duvall had to face the biggest setback for his dream of advancing to the majors, being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes after losing over 20 pounds during 2010 season.

It was not the first warning for Adam, he had been diagnosed pre-diabetic doing his childhood but he and his parents stopped paying attention to it because it didn’t affect his life in any way. However, everything changed when the diagnosis was confirmed by the doctor in the middle of 2010 season, uncovering an unanticipated setback for Adam’s career.

Not letting the condition take the wheel on his life, Duvall kept practicing, and his successful career led him elevated him until where he is now (All-Star team player) all this thanks to a lot of hard work and putting his diabetes as a priority that needed to be taken care of.

First steps against the condition

Duvall started feeling the effects of the disease while being on the field. Being exhaustion, fatigue and lack of energy the most common symptoms displayed.

Taking into account how demanding a baseball season is, long bus rides from one state to another and lack of enough sleep time were a real torture while having uncontrolled blood sugar levels. However, educational classes on diabetes and the assistance of the medical team served as helping hands for Duvall on his way into creating a daily routine that helped him managed his energy during the day. Protein bars and bottles of Gatorade became part of the supplies waiting at the dugout bench in case of an emergency.

Later on, after he joined the Giants he was introduced to a new method that was able to deliver insulin into the body of the user by only pushing one button through a plastic tube called infusion set that had to be attached to the abdomen. This was the perfect solution in order to forget about insulin injections.

Other habits and things done by Duvall in order to control his condition

Among other precautions and daily actions taken by Duvall there are a couple of very recommendable things such as:

  • Carrying a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) which generated a sugar graph every five minutes. This way he is able of realizing if he needs insulin in the middle of the night.
  • Drinking a lot of liquids to keep himself hydrated, especially during hot days.
  • Keeping a healthy diet that helps the organism receive the insulin delivered and use it for common digestive processes.

He has regained the muscle mass he lost before being diagnosed with diabetes (as well as the mass he lost immediately after the diagnosis, which led to emotional unbalance). Relatives and friends say that it is possible to see him monitoring himself every single day in order to keep the condition under controlled.

Other cases that can serve as inspiration for people with diabetes

There are some other cases that can serve as inspiration for people with diabetes. People who have been diagnosed with the condition and that have managed to overcome and follow their dreams as anyone else would, only adding monitoring and taking care of themselves to their daily routines. Most of these cases are teenagers looking forward to achieving that Duvall did regardless of their condition.

Andreti Leal Guerra is a Mexican teenager who was diagnosed at age 3 with diabetes. Andreti knows from a very young age that persistence and dedication make every day closer to his dreams. "When I started playing football, my dream was to be on a professional team. At times, there were people who did not believe in me and put limits on me because I have diabetes. The challenge was to keep going and demonstrate that it is possible to do it, just the way Adam Duvall did it." His testimony is certainly an inspiration for hundreds of young people living with type 1 diabetes and who must face the ignorance of other children and sometimes adults regarding this condition.

"Many people tell you that you will die if you eat sweets," recalls Andreti of his childhood, highlighting the lack of information and knowledge about diabetes in his country, where education about it is scarce. Today the insulin pump is his main ally to have a control of his glucose levels, while still dreaming of being a great soccer player.

Another example is the teenager hockey player Micaela Sartori who also dreams of being a professional sportsman. This young Argentine girl uses her insulin pump while practicing hockey. She knows she can play her games 100% focused on each score, because her pump takes care of the rest. "I had the insulin pump two years ago because my doctor told me that I could have more freedom. Now I can eat what anyone would eat, for example, cake. I do not have to inject insulin every day. Everything with the insulin pump is easier. When I play Hockey I put it on, at the end of the games I measure my levels and I'm always good, "Micaela says with joy.

For these young sports promises, dreams have no limits and their lives continue to improve thanks to the tranquility of their insulin pump.