Jennifer Stone’s Diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes

Jennifer Stone's Diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes

Jennifer Stone grew up in a way that most people would consider unusual. Stone, who was gifted from an early age, had a long list of performing credentials by the time she was old enough to drive. Her most notable role was as Harper Finkle, Selena Gomez’s goofy on-screen bestie in Disney Channel’s “Wizards of Waverly Place.”

However, the actress-turned-nurse is now making a name for herself on social media, where she posts funny, candid videos about nursing during COVID and navigating life with type 1 diabetes.

In honour of Diabetes Awareness Month, Stone spoke with Diagnosis Diaries about her difficult diagnosis, how it encouraged her to pursue a nursing career, and how she’s utilising her platform to raise awareness about the many faces of type 1 diabetes.

Something isn’t quite right.

Stone began to notice that she was tiring more readily than usual as a 20-year-old going back and forth between auditions and college classes.

“I was exhausted from doing the simplest things,” she explains. “Going to the grocery store would have knocked me out for the rest of the day.”

Other symptoms emerged as well.

“I started getting blurry vision,” Stone explains. “To the point where I could see people’s faces — even right in front of me — and tell it was a face, but I couldn’t really tell anything else.”

Stone then gained 60 pounds in three months for no apparent reason.

“I was thinking, OK, something’s wrong here. “I need to see the doctor,” she says.

However, answers were surprisingly difficult to come by.

Stone’s doctor revealed increased blood sugar levels, implying she had diabetes. However, some of her initial symptoms, such as rapid weight gain, were not typical of either type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is more common in older adults and people with a longer history of obesity. Type 1 diabetes is often associated with a quick onset of symptoms, such as accidental weight loss.

“I wasn’t your cookie-cutter diabetic,” she explains, “though I despise that term because nobody is truly cookie-cutter.” Every diabetic is unique.”

“No stone unturned.”

Stone spent the next four years going from doctor to doctor in search of answers. But no one could agree on a diagnosis.

“I was bounced around… “Type 2, type 1, type 2, type 1, type 2, type 1,” she says.

Although awareness of late-onset type 1 diabetes has grown in recent years, most doctors still regard it as a childhood disease.

“I cried in a few doctors’ offices,” she admits, “just out of sheer frustration.”

According to new data, adults account for more than half of all new occurrences of type 1 diabetes. These examples, known as adult onset type 1 diabetes, have demonstrated that there is far more heterogeneity within the type 1 group than previously thought. Misdiagnoses are extremely common.

The older a person is when they are diagnosed, the more likely it is that they have type 2 diabetes.

Written by ogwriter


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