With over 4.6 million people living with diabetes in the UK (that’s 1 in 15 people) and a further 12.3 million at risk of developing it, there is still so much more we need to do.
People with diabetes are at risk of complications including preventable blindness and amputation, heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and even premature death. It costs the NHS £10 billion per year (over £1million per hour) or 10% of its budget to deal with the condition.
Type 2 diabetes accounts for around 90% of all diabetes cases, anyone can get Type 2 diabetes, and it is a very serious health condition. It starts gradually, and because the symptoms may not be so obvious it might be years before you learn that you have it. Three out of five cases of Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed by maintaining a healthy weight, eating well and being active and this is more likely if you find out your risk as early as possible. Diabetes UK online Know Your Risk questionnaire will help you find out if you may be at risk of developing it, so you can take action now.
We will be setting up specialized golf days to raise awareness and funds for Diabetes UK and we need your support! If you would be interested in one of our specialized golf days at your club please get in contact with us. Email email@example.com or call 01494 875164 for details of our programme in 2019.
Golf is a sport you can play at your own pace and not a hugely demanding sport (although very frustrating at times) and requires minimal intensity, which makes it a very manageable sport for people with diabetes and a great way to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Food be can carried on your person and blood glucose testing can be done at any time, although certain variables will still influence the way you control your diabetes. Courses with greater hills and longer holes will require greater energy. It is wise to study the course you are playing on, be it nine holes or 18 holes, in advance to prepare for how your blood glucose could be affected.
Scott Verplank was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at nine years of age, and has since gone on to become a five-time PGA Tour winner. He uses a Medtronic MiniMed insulin pump to control his diabetes.
Playing nine holes of golf with type 1 diabetes will require less management than 18 holes, which demands twice as much time and energy to complete.
Managing your diabetes for 9 holes can be adapted to playing 18 holes - blood tests and snacks should be doubled in volume, while quick acting insulin can be further reduced with meals, or perhaps not given at all.
Golfers playing in the morning will probably not need to alter their long lasting insulin dosages, but reducing your quick acting insulin by 25 per cent with breakfast will account for the walking you do.
A healthy breakfast designed to keep you full and your blood sugars low may not even necessitate an injection of quick acting insulin. If you are to start playing in the afternoon, you can reduce your quick acting insulin by around 25 per cent with your lunchtime meal, which again should provide energy but not risk high blood sugars.
Carrying glucose and snacks with you on the golf course, as well as regularly checking your blood sugars will be important to managing your blood glucose levels throughout.
If you find, when playing regularly, that you are continually having low blood sugars, you could reduce either your morning long lasting insulin or your evening dose from the night before.
Your normal dose of metformin, or other hypoglycemic agent, will be fine before a game at any time of the day, but extra snacks should be taken if you notice your blood sugar is falling.
If you are on hypo causing medication such as sulphonylureas or glinides, be mindful of hypoglycemia and test your blood glucose levels if there are any signs your blood sugar levels could be low.
Playing golf on your own can be dangerous if you were to suffer a hypoglycemic attack. You should always alert someone close to you what time you are playing and carry medical identification on you at all times.
You should also remember to take special care of your feet when playing golf, which will require a substantial amount of walking. Your choice of golf shoes should be comfortable throughout your game. Playing regular golf will also require consistent foot care.
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