Page 1

Diabetes SEPTEMBER 2012



Diabetes within Athletes Differences Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes Type 1 diabetes can affect anyone from the age of 0-40 and after 40 years of age it is rare to get. Someone may acquire Type 1 diabetes when their body destroys the insulin producing beta cells inside the pancreas. Out of everyone that has diabetes, only 15% of them have Type 1. Once you have Type 1 diabetes you must take insulin regularly in order to stay alive. The majority of the people that get Type 2 diabetes are over weight and unfit. The reason someone might get Type 2 diabetes is due to low insulin produced throughout the body or the insulin doesn’t properly work. Type 2 diabetes is more likely to affect someone later in life. 85% of all diabetics have type 2. Symptoms of Diabetes with Athletes: Athletes may notice an increase in thirst, which can be impossible to quench, an increase in

urine production. Athletes will also notice excessive tiredness, weight loss, fungal infections, vision problems, and slow healing of wounds. All of these symptoms can affect athletes during practice and performances making them even harder to perform at their best. Athletes and their coaches should be careful not to attribute such symptoms to problems like overtraining, especially if they are progressive. Athletes with any of the symptoms and signs described above should seek medical opinions sooner rather than later. High Risk Sports Short-term complications of diabetes, especially hypoglycaemia, can increase the risk in sports and activities such as paragliding, parachuting, scuba diving and rock climbing. Diabetic individuals who want to participate in such sports should always seek medical advice first and diabetic athletes may wish to consider purchasing a MedicAlert® Bracelet or similar to identify their condition to people in case they are taken seriously ill.

Olympian With Diabetes In 1997 Steve Redgrave was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. In 2000 he won his fifth consecutive Olympic gold; in doing so he proved that diabetic athletes can achieve great things with the right approach. As Sir Steve Redgrave’s case demonstrates, diabetes mellitus is not a problem restricted to the obese, as the popular press might have you believe. According to Diabetes UK, there are currently over 2m diagnosed and 750,000 undiagnosed diabetics in the UK, while according to the American Diabetes Association, the USA has 14.6m diagnosed sufferers, 6.2m undiagnosed sufferers and an astonishing 54m pre-diabetics (ie at risk)!