How does diabetes affect athletes?
Today many athletes successfully manage their diabetes. Remember: Self-monitoring of blood glucose is essential. Coaches and teammates need to be supportive and diabetes does not have to adversely affect performance. Exercise is a way of life for the athlete with diabetes. The athlete with diabetes has to be able to balance insulin, food intake and physical activity.
How does one accomplish this goal? The first step is education. The athlete needs to learn about 1) insulin and the metabolic changes that occur during exercise, the effects of conditioning and de-conditioning, 2) the general principles applied to diabetes and the energy requirements for specific training, and 3) insulin (adjustment of dosage, location of injection for different types of exercise). The second step is an exercise training schedule. Keeping a training log including; type, duration and intensity of exercise, self monitoring of blood glucose, food ingestion, insulin dose and site of injection. The log helps identify patterns and plans a safe exercise training schedule. The third step is Insulin and carbohydrate adjustment. This your physician and/or diabetes education team can help you with. Lastly, I cannot stress enough is the importance of 4) blood glucose control.
It is important to remember that each athlete has his/her own metabolic response. The best formula for the success of the athlete with diabetes is a combination of:
- Schedule of exercise (log),
- Carbohydrate adjustment,
- Blood glucose monitoring and control,
- Medical screening before engaging in physical activity, and
- Constant contact with your diabetes team.
Original posting 16 Jun 2000
Posted to Exercise and Sports
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:09
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