Amazing Race winner discusses type 1 diabetes management

Nat Strand was one-half of the first all-female team to win first place in the CBS television competition The Amazing Race. However, the extreme skill tests were not the only obstacles that Strand had to cope with during filming, since she suffers from type 1 diabetes.

Featured on the cover of a magazine published by the American Diabetes Association (ADA), the champion discussed how she and her Amazing Race partner Kat Chang put in extra work to help manage her blood glucose levels during the competition.

Strand explained that she and Chang, both physicians, ensured that they packed plenty of insulin when the teams traveled around the world. She also said that the pair set periodic alarms during the night to remind Strand to use her insulin pump and check for signs of hypoglycemia.

Since the contestants were often tasked with eating unique cuisine, such as boiled sheep head, the women had to estimate how much insulin Strand should be injected with after consuming foods that were not normally included in her diabetic diet.

"I just gritted my teeth and hoped that since it was protein, it was low-carb," she told the organization.

In a recent article published by the Columbus Dispatch, endocrinologist William Lutmer explained that managing type 1 diabetes can be more difficult than handling type 2 diabetes, since individuals who suffer from the former do not produce any insulin. The expert noted that most people with type 1 diabetes develop the condition early in life.

"We don't know what causes it, if it's a virus or what," he told the newspaper.

According to the ADA, people with type 1 diabetes account for only 5 percent of the more than 19 million diabetics in the U.S. The organization notes that one in every 400 American children develops this variation of diabetes during their youth.