Las Vegas Competitive Athlete Lives With Diabetes - 8 News NOW

Las Vegas Competitive Athlete Lives With Diabetes

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The rising tide of diabetes is often associated with obesity and a lack of exercise. But that does not mean that diabetes is predictable. In fact, for one local man who is anything but sedentary, it was the last thing he expected.

Las Vegas native, Bruce Balch has for most of his life, been a healthy, competitive athlete. But his biggest challenge came unexpectedly earlier this year, at age 45. He had gone to the doctor complaining of fatigue and an unquenchable thirst, symptoms he had brushed off until it became obvious that something was wrong.

"He started to do some tests. And he did a urine test and came back in and said Bruce, you are a diabetic. And then we did a blood test, and he informed me I needed to go from the doctor's office to the emergency room," said Balch.

In this case, it was type-1 diabetes -- which is more commonly seen in children and young adults. The iron-man athlete was suddenly faced with new challenges, including daily insulin injections.

"I just got back to life, did normal. It's been three months now, and I've got my blood sugars back in the normal range -- and it's just become part of my daily routine," he said.

Bruce's wife, Laura was just as surprised as he was with the diagnosis. And like her husband, she's a team player -- and has helped change their diet accordingly.

"Even though we ate healthy, we probably ate too many carbs. So I've had to go to more chicken and fish and vegetables and salads," she said.

Bruce doesn't fear his diabetes. But he is glad that he paid attention to the symptoms and got checked out -- knowing that diabetes can lead to major complications. "But now that I've got into it and gained control, I'm pretty comfortable with ability to control it. The key though, is that I was diagnosed."

Bruce will be joining us for Step Out For Diabetes, on Sept. 20 at Spring Mountain Ranch State Park. The event supports the American Diabetes Association, including the local chapter. There's still plenty of time to sign up. For registration information, click here.

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