Nick Jonas Was 'Very Close to a Coma' When He Was First Diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes

"I kept asking my parents — am I going to be okay?" the Jonas Brothers singer said

Nick Jonas’ body was struggling in the days before he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

The singer was 13 years old at the time, and had lost a considerable amount of weight. At the same time, he developed an unquenchable thirst for sugary sodas — all signs of diabetes. After one of Jonas’ brothers noticed his symptoms, he went to the doctor, where they found that his blood sugar levels were nine times higher than normal, at 917.

“I was very close to a coma,” he told Cigar Aficionado. “Like a day away, if I hadn’t gone to the hospital.”

Jonas, now 27, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, which means his body creates very little or no insulin on its own, requiring medication. He was fearful of a future of relying on insulin to maintain his health.

“I kept asking my parents — am I going to be okay?” he says. “I was just so concerned that it was going to limit my ability to do all the things I wanted to do. I was very scared — it’s a big life change.”

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But Jonas, who uses an insulin pump to get his medication, learned that it was easier than he expected.

“I found out very quickly it’s a very manageable disease,” he said. “As long as you’re really diligent.”

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Now 14 years into managing his diabetes, Jonas works to share his experience with fans and others with diabetes to help them understand how to “prioritize a healthy life,” he previously told PEOPLE.

“You must go see your doctor and get your check-ups and make sure you’re in the healthiest space you can be in because it’s going to make every aspect of your life better,” he said.

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