Jay Cutler is Taking On Type 1 Diabetes
EW: You've mentioned in past interviews that you couldn't imagine how hard it must be to be diagnosed with type 1 as a child. But being diagnosed as a 25 year old, you're faced with changing the lifestyle you're accustomed to—and that may include some facets of your social life. How has type 1 diabetes affected your social life?
JC: I try to eat well and make sure I get rest, but those are things any NFL player has to do—with or without diabetes. I still like to go out with friends in a responsible way.
EW: What's the most difficult food item you've had to give up or cut back on?
JC: I miss lemonade and sweet tea. And Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.
EW: What's your favorite low-carb meal?
JC: I eat a lot of lean seafood and lean meats. Our diets are well controlled by the Bears' training staff, in-season and during off-season workouts.
EW: What special precautions do you take before each practice/game to ensure that your diabetes doesn't impact your performance?
JC: I check my blood sugar about four or five times before the game—I try to stay around 150-160 before kickoff. When you get the adrenaline rushing, things can change pretty quickly, so when we come off the field after an offensive series in the first half, I'll test to make sure I'm not getting low.
There are definitely dangers out there, and we try to avoid them at all costs. That's why we check as many times as we do. I think the worst thing imaginable would be to get really low and pass out in the middle of a play or in the huddle. That would scare a lot of people. I try to avoid it as much as possible, but it's still a reality. It could happen.