Type 1 diabetes and the young athlete
Youth sports are woven into the fabric of society and are a large focus of many families. Regardless of the sport, the ability to play them is almost a foregone conclusion to many.
For some, it’s a daunting task. Like my family.
In August 2011, my wife and I learned our son, Keaton, was a Type 1 Diabetic. As people with little connection with Type 1, we embarked on a quick study. Type 1 diabetes is where the cells that produce insulin in the body are destroyed by the immune system. As the number of active insulin producing cells falls, the ability to regulate blood glucose falls and life-threatening situations can occur. The Type 1 patient embarks on a life of injecting insulin into their bodies daily to survive. Nothing a person did in terms of eating less nutritious food, lack of exercise or being overweight caused it. This point was emphasized to my wife and I, as when we were at the hospital with our son, a family with an infant was in our classes as this young gal was also Type 1.
In a nutshell, lifestyle choices may impact persons with type 2 diabetes. They have no bearing on type 1 as it’s an autoimmune disease.
One thing that we weren’t prepared for: how Type 1 diabetes affects sports and how you need to manage it to be successful.
Keaton loves to play sports, although they all play second fiddle to his true love, hockey. Sadly, his career as a goalie hasn’t been without complications.
At times, he is forced to sit out until his numbers stabilize. One time, at age 11, he wasn’t able to participate in hockey practice and he told his mom, “My diabetic care Continue reading