Inspiration and tips for people with diabetes.
On November 14, World Diabetes Day, more than 463 million people have diabetes. Among them are famous soccer players, hockey players, including Olympic medalists and major league players. How is life changing with this diagnosis? Can I play sports with diabetes?
Type 1 and 2 diabetes: the epidemic of the 21st century.
Diabetes can be diagnosed at any age, and from that moment, a person has to change his or her attitude towards life. Real Madrid player Nacho Fernandez learned that he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 12. According to Nacho, it was the worst news of his life: it seemed that the road to big soccer was completely closed for him. He was able to adjust to his new lifestyle: his schedule included regular glucose measurements, insulin shots, and dietary control. He has to monitor his diet carefully, including keeping a count of bread units – BEs – in foods.
Type 1 diabetes develops when the pancreas cannot produce the hormone insulin. It is insulin-dependent diabetes and is usually diagnosed in people under the age of 30. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body produces insulin but cannot use it effectively. This is why type 2 diabetes is called insulin-independent diabetes. It can be genetically caused, but is most often the result of being overweight and not being physically active enough.
The International Diabetes Federation predicts that about 700 million people will have diabetes by 2045. Now it is proved that no matter what type of diabetes a person has – type 1, with absolute insulin deficiency, or type 2, with relative insulin deficiency – one can and should lead an active life, work hard and do sports. Moreover, doctors claim that physical activity has therapeutic, that is, therapeutic value in type 2 diabetes.
But what was it like before? The side effects of insulin injections and opium as an analgesic
In the first half of the last century, the diagnosis “diabetes” was almost a death sentence, and the “life-giving” properties of insulin injections for people with the disease were discovered only in the mid-20s of the last century. Insulin preparations derived from the pancreas of cows and pigs were insufficiently purified, which caused many diabetics to suffer from side effects – bruising, allergies, reduced immunity.
A typical diabetic’s diet at the time consisted of low-carbohydrate foods, and injections had to be given with reusable glass syringes that required constant sterilization. To alleviate some of the patient’s suffering, doctors recommended smoking opium, a method that could not, in principle, prolong life. In those days, professional sports with diabetes were out of the question.
Now, the quality of life of people diagnosed with diabetes depends largely on their attitude and understanding of their disease. The stories of sports stars who have reached the top despite their diabetes are a compelling example.