Any type 1 diabetic gymnasts?

i was just recently diagnosed with T1D a few weeks ago are there any other gymnasts with diabetes out there if so does it affect your blood sugar at all what should ieat before i go that could keep my blood sugar where it should bei havebeendoing gymnastics my whole life i dont wanna stop now .

You don’t need to stop but keeping your blood sugars level during practice is likely going to take some trial and error (and some additional blood sugar checks to see how your efforts are working). I did competitive cheerleading in high school and plenty of other diabetics are part of highly physical sports teams (gymnastics, football, track, cross country, basketball, etc). Here’s a few things you can try to get started, then start tweaking your approach from here:

Always test before you start your practice/activity/lesson (whatever you’re calling it)

Unless you’re running high, you will probably need to eat a snack (at LEAST 15 carbs, maybe more depending on how long your session is and how active you are), especially if you haven’t had a meal recently.

You may need to reduce your insulin doses prior to practice. For example if practice starts at 7:00pm, you might need to take less than your usual dose of insulin at dinner to compensate for the amount of exercise.

Always carry glucose with you in case you get low (glucose tabs or gel, snacks, a juice box, whatever you prefer). Make sure your coaches/instructors know that you are diabetic and may need to stop at times.

You may need to test during practice to make sure you are okay, especially since you’re new to this.

Test after practice to make sure your plan worked (or see if you went too high or low and make adjustments accordingly the next time)

Test again a few hours later–exercise can affect your blood sugars long after you finish doing it.

Keep in mind that I’m not a doctor, just a long time diabetic. You’ll have to talk to your own doctor or diabetes educator about exactly how to treat your highs and lows and how to reduce your insulin doses. I’m just putting this out here to give you some ideas and places to start your discussion with them. Please don’t let diabetes force you to give up something you love to do–it is totally manageable, even if you are overwhelmed by it right now.

Also, some long-term food for thought is that an insulin pump would make this much easier on you but it may be too soon for you to consider that right now.

Good luck!

@KSMERK12 I know this post is old but I was wondering if you could give me some suggestions to help my 15 yr old daughter Sasha. She has been a type 1 diabetic since 2006 and is recently having some issues. She is a competitive cheerleader as well and may benefit from hearing how you managed your diabetes when you did competitive cheer. She was recently hospitalized twice in 3 months with DKA and has hit a real rough patch in her diabetes management. Any input is appreciated!

@sashasmommy15 As for managing diabetes during cheerleading, most of my suggestions to the original poster would apply to any sport. I wore a pump even back then and they only time I took it off to cheer was during the actual competitions (judges will count it as a safety violation if they see it and likely won’t know what it is). I did wear my pump during practices and while cheering for games. I will note that I was not a tumbler–that may have made it a little more difficult to keep my pump on during practices and games. If your daughter is on injections she just has to monitor herself more closely to see where her BGs are–a CGM could also help if she’s open to wearing it.

What concerns me more about your post are the recent problems with DKA. Obviously I don’t know your daughter at all, but sometimes teenagers get rebel against their diabetes. They may not test or take their insulin like they should in an attempt to hide their diabetes from others (not wanting to seem different) or just be in denial that it’s a life-long commitment. Sometimes girls will develop an eating disorder called diabulimia where they purposely let their blood run high so that they can lose weight. Do you think any of these issues may apply to your daughter? I’ve never gone into DKA myself in 30 years of being t1D, so I don’t believe that it just happens with no warning. Maybe she had been out of control and feeling sick but waited until it was too late to ask for help?

Maybe someone with more experience with DKA than me can comment here?

I’ve never gone into DKA but I do think there is always a rebellious time that can make taking all the extra precautions just seem impossible. I would suggest a couple of things that might help renew the commitment to testing, etc. I would suggest switching to a tube-free insulin pump if you aren’t already. It’s done wonders for my self-esteem at age 30! Also, be careful making any reactions or comments to blood sugar readings. Hearing ANY comment can be very hard to deal with and could make testing seem not worth it just to avoid the perceived judgement. Imagine having to see if you “failed” at diabetes 5-10 times a day…it can be rough depending on the day. Also, the events like JDRF Walk or Camps can be really good for self-esteem. I know you didn’t specifically ask about self-esteem but managing diabetes competently involves confidence and feeling empowered to make the right decisions. Also, I mention tube-free pumping because it’s easy to wear under everything without the need to remove it for competitions, or practices. I wear mine, with a reduced basal, all through 2-3 hour fitness sessions, in the pool, shower, running, etc. Maybe also talking about the Dexcom would be helpful. Than she can see trends and avoid the highs through the alerting system.

Good luck! It get’s better, I promise.

I’m a level 9 gymnast and have had it for two years. Normally I lower the amount of basal insulin before gym which I can do because I have an omni pod. My omnipods and cgms have been extremely helpful and I really recommend getting that if you can. Before gym I sometimes eat around 15 slow carbs but it really depends on what you are doing. You’ll have to do some trial and error. Sometimes gym can make me go higher too, so be aware of that. But if you have snack be careful because at least for me a little bit of insulin during and after gym makes a much bigger difference than other times. My practices are 5 hours and we have one snack in the middle, I usually eat a few carbs and don’t give any insulin. I used to give insulin at snack but I would always crash. It’s going to take a lot of trial and error like I said, but for now just try to check your blood sugar as much as possible and learn what you can. And I really really recommend pump and cgm if you can that’s been a life saver for me!