Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers and wife Tiffany Rivers are hoping to raise awareness for type 1 diabetes after their son was diagnosed with the condition when he was just 5 years old.
“It’s our everyday,” Tiffany tells PEOPLE of her son, Gunner, being diagnosed with the condition six years ago. “It’s our normal. It’s definitely a part of our life now.”
Type 1 diabetes is a condition typically diagnosed in children, teens and young adults, but can develop at any age, according to the Centers for Disease Control. It’s caused by an autoimmune reaction that triggers the body into destroying the cells in the pancreas responsible for producing insulin.
Insulin keeps the body’s blood sugar level from getting too high (known as hyperglycemia) or too low (hypoglycemia). Because type 1 diabetes is incurable, treatment to manage insulin levels includes injections or the use of an insulin pump.
The first symptoms of type 1 diabetes in children typically are frequent urination, weight loss and increased tiredness or moodiness. The American Diabetes Association also notes that if a child who is potty-trained starts having night accidents again, this could be a sign of diabetes.
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