Playing Sports When You Are a Diabetic
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes and want to engage in playing sports you should know that you can. You may not be able to do so quite as easily as someone without diabetes but with a bit of preparation there should be no holding you back. As long as you play safely and monitor your blood sugar levels frequently, you will likely be fine.
What do you need to do in order to play sports?
Test your glucose levels frequently.
The most important thing that you can do is to keep track of your blood sugar levels. The reason for this is that playing sports requires you to use your muscles and using your muscles requires that you use energy. This means that your body will have to release extra glucose. The insulin levels and the amount of glucose released have to mesh with one another or there could be trouble. So, just monitor the situation and check your levels frequently.
It is a good idea to test before you start playing and then again immediately following. This way you can really monitor what the physical activity is doing to your glucose levels and you can adjust your actions accordingly.
Always be prepared.
It is critical that you always keep snacks with you. Diabetics know that it is possible for your blood sugar levels to rise or to drop at any time and sometimes it seems for no reason. This can potentially be magnified when you start to add intense activity to the mix. As you know, a snack can help to regulate your sugar levels and should always be a permanent fixture in you gym bag.
If you are in the middle of a game or engaged in your sport of choice and feel that your glucose levels are not right you need to stop immediately and figure out what is going on. You need to test your glucose level and get yourself a snack. Often times a few bites can make the world of difference. By testing your glucose level when you feel this way you will be able to identify how closely you need to monitor the situation at that time and in the future.
Identify your condition.
Always have something on your person that identifies you as a diabetic. Also, make sure that your coach and teammates know that you have diabetes. It’s important to always carry your testing kit and insulin or any other type of medication that you are taking with you. That way if something does happen you will have everything that you need.
While it is always important to take good care of yourself and manage your diabetes, it is even more important when you are playing sports because you are really exerting yourself most of the time. Make sure that you take breaks often and eat more frequently - smaller meals are ideal. Most importantly – listen to your body.
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