Wells makes major lifestyle changes due to diabetes

Updated: March 20, 2007, 7:43 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

PEORIA, Ariz. -- David Wells revealed Sunday that he has been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, but he vows to beat the disease and he has already drastically changed his lifestyle in order to do so.

What is Type 2 diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is a lifelong disease that affects the way your body uses food for energy. The disease develops when an organ called the pancreas cannot make enough insulin or when the body is not able to use insulin correctly. Insulin is a hormone that allows the body's cells to use sugar (glucose) for energy. Insulin also helps the body store extra sugar in muscle, fat, and liver cells.

When insulin is not available or is not used correctly, the level of sugar in your blood gets too high and cells do not get the energy they need. If your blood sugar stays high for a long time, you can develop problems with your eyes, heart, blood vessels, nerves, and kidneys.

--Source: Webmd.com

Wells, 43, told The San Diego Union Tribune that he was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes two weeks ago.

"Obviously, this is a concern," the left-hander told the newspaper. "But it's beatable. And I'm going to beat it. It's going to take some lifestyle changes. And I'm already making them.

"From the time I found out, I made changes. No more starches and sugar. No more rice, pasta, potatoes and white bread. No more fast food. I've cut out alcohol."

"It's something he'll have to manage and something we'll have to help him manage," chief executive officer Sandy Alderson said Monday. "It's not unprecedented by any means."

Wells told The Union Tribune that he can have a glass of wine "now and then" but he doesn't want his diabetes to get any worse.

"This is a major lifestyle change. I don't want this going to Type 1 diabetes," Wells told the newspaper.

"I want to be around for a while. If you don't take care of this, it can lead to some scary stuff ... like losing limbs. If anyone has this, it's a red flag, period.

"But if I follow the rules I've been given, there's no problem."

Manager Bud Black said Wells needs to meet with doctors.

"From what I've been told, it'll be manageable," Black said.

Wells signed a one-year contract in January to return to his hometown Padres as the No. 5 starter. The 6-foot-3, 248-pound Wells has often battled his weight, and was scratched from a start late last season due to gout in his right foot.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.