Myths and the Diabetic Athlete

Learn some of the most misunderstood facts about diabetes and athletes

To be sure, the diabetic athlete faces special challenges. Unfortunately, many diabetics love to participate in sports but don’t do so because of the following myths. Discover the truth about these common myths, take the necessary precautions, and enjoy sports once again.

Myth #1 – Diabetics can’t compete in sports

Diabetics compete safely in any sport they choose as long as they understand the illness, what it takes to control it, and take the necessary precautions.

Myth #2 – Diabetic athletes don’t need to take any special precautions

A diabetic competitive athlete, needs to take certain precautions. A crucial precaution is frequent checking of blood sugar levels. The athlete should take his blood sugar before the sport, at 30-minute intervals during the sport, and immediately afterwards. As long as this is done, there should be no problem with even intense exertion.

Diabetic athletes need to wear properly fitted footwear. Due to circulation problems, diabetics often have trouble with developing sores and infections on their feet. Ill-fitting shoes aggravate this situation and the athlete should always be sure his shoes fit properly to avoid any problems.

Myth #3 – Diabetic athletes don’t need any extra support

This couldn’t be further from the truth. To be a diabetic and an athlete, you need a strong support system made up of family, friends, coaches, and trainers. A diabetic should never compete in a sport without a member of his support group knowing about the competition or training session.

Furthermore, the support team should know the signs of unstable sugar levels and know the necessary steps to take to get the diabetic help should he need it.

By being aware of these myths, diabetic athletes can continue to pursue their sports dreams.