It can be challenging to manage diabetes on a day-to-day basis, even when you lead a fairly sedentary life. However, if you’re an athlete, you’ll have an additional set of challenges to deal with, since hard exercise can affect blood sugar. Nevertheless, there are things you can do to remain consistent in this area while enjoying the sports you love. When you prepare ahead of time for bouts of exercise, you can enjoy the health benefits without having to worry.
Here are six facts about diabetes that may be of interest to athletes and those living with the disease in general.
1) Diabetes Results From An Inability to Regulate Blood Sugar.
While it is natural for most people to have some changes in their blood sugar (or “glucose,” as it’s often referred to), people with diabetes can have dangerously high and low spikes because their bodies don’t produce the right amount of insulin.
2) Breakfast is Especially Important for People with Diabetes.
The goal here is to keep your blood sugar at a normal, healthy level. Often, in the morning (due to not having eaten in eight or more hours), your sugars can be dangerously low. One easy way to remedy this is by having something nutritious for your first meal of the day.
3) The Brain Can Be Noticeably Affected By Low Glucose Levels.
It is not uncommon to experience undesirable things like fatigue and drowsiness, as well as an inability to focus, when your sugars are dropping fast.
4) A Physician Can Be a Great Tool in Helping With Diabetes Management in Athletes.
Your greatest ally in the fight against diabetes is your physician. Doctors will be able to prepare you with the information and medication you need to perform well and feel healthy as an athletic person with diabetes. Your physician can also give you regular checkups to ensure that you are taking care of yourself properly, as well as help you make any changes if there is room for improvement.
5) Eating Smart Can Help Manage This Illness.
One of the biggest things you can do to keep your body on track (both on and off the field) is to eat right. What this means is to try to include lots of lean protein, complex carbohydrates (such as brown rice, sweet potatoes and multi-grain breads or pastas) and vegetables in your diet. These foods are good because they are low on the glycemic index, which means they are broken down slowly by the body, thus providing a steadier stream of glucose over time.
Simple carbs, on the other hand, are more troublesome because they are digested quickly, thus causing unhealthy spikes in blood sugar – followed by a quick crash.
6) You Can Use a Blood Sugar Monitor to Plan Strategic Medication and Meals.
Another extremely useful tool for active people is a glucose meter.This measures sugar levels throughout the day. As someone sporty, you will want to take stock of your bodily trends even more often than the average person with diabetes to discover trends and prepare for an active, healthy lifestyle.
Greg loves to play sports, and does not want his diabetes to interfere with this passion. He has turned to helpful tools like his continuous glucose monitor to help him manage his disease while also participating in activities he loves. He thinks others living with diabetes should invest in such a device, as well as take his other tips to heart.