PDA

View Full Version : Type 1 Diabetic Tennis Players


gino
02-14-2010, 06:49 PM
Hey everyone, I was recently diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in early December and I have made a successful transition back to sectional/national junior tennis and high school tennis. I am ranked #150 in NorCal and I am a top singles player on my high school team.

I was wondering if there are any other Type 1 Diabetic's on the forum and if you could provide me with any advice you have to offer with Diabetes and tennis. I would really appreciate all your advice.

Thanks everyone!

Gino

charliefedererer
02-14-2010, 07:22 PM
My only experience was getting smoked by a pretty brittle Type I diabetic who used an insulin pump.
So my advice would be to find some way to keep your opponents from not being too down when you beat them.

gino
02-14-2010, 07:30 PM
I don't use an insulin pump, but I do test my blood between sets during matches.
Here is a video of me playing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOEw8mcW7Y4

Vyse
02-14-2010, 07:42 PM
Was there any reason that you got diabetes? And how did you know that you have it? I am just curious.

gino
02-14-2010, 08:00 PM
Was there any reason that you got diabetes? And how did you know that you have it? I am just curious.

There was no particular reason. Just bad luck, no one in my family has Type 1 Diabetes... it is just in my genes. Type 1 Diabetes is genetic. Type 1 is not brought upon by poor eating habits, obesity, or hereditary characteristics, that is Type 2.

I found out I had diabetes progressively. I started by getting extremely thirsty, In one straight sets match i went through five gatorades and two waters. The increased thirst lead to me using the bathroom and having to urinate wayyyyyy to frequently. I was also getting extremely tired for no apparent reason and my eyesight was getting terrible. I would get moments where everything was blurry even with my contacts in.

Hope this helps you all understand a bit more.

10ispro
02-14-2010, 08:19 PM
Make sure you fully know and understand the rules and keep a copy of the USTA rules in regards to authorized rest periods for Diabetics.
Many officials do not fully understand the rules and or the seriousness of the condition

get it in
02-14-2010, 08:23 PM
Gino,

It's good to see you keeping up a positive attitude. My wife is a type 1 diabetic. She uses a pump which I highly recommend. This will help keep your glucose levels more consistent. If anything, the exercise will help you out a lot by keeping your A1C level down. Actually, Jay Cutler of the Chicago Bears is a type 1 diabetic. You can read about his story too by doing a google search. There is really no reason for you to believe you can't keep up with anyone else. Your primary concern would probably be to keep eating and to constantly check your sugars so you don't dip too low. It will be a lot of trial and error but keep at it and you will find what works best for you.

charliefedererer
02-14-2010, 08:23 PM
I don't use an insulin pump, but I do test my blood between sets during matches.
Here is a video of me playing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOEw8mcW7Y4

As good as your strokes are (gotta love that 1hBh), what is even more impressive is the discipline in your movement. Great movement out of the split step, good speed to the ball, then nice adjusting small steps, and quick recovery.

charliefedererer
02-14-2010, 08:31 PM
There was no particular reason. Just bad luck, no one in my family has Type 1 Diabetes... it is just in my genes. Type 1 Diabetes is genetic. Type 1 is not brought upon by poor eating habits, obesity, or hereditary characteristics, that is Type 2.

I found out I had diabetes progressively. I started by getting extremely thirsty, In one straight sets match i went through five gatorades and two waters. The increased thirst lead to me using the bathroom and having to urinate wayyyyyy to frequently. I was also getting extremely tired for no apparent reason and my eyesight was getting terrible. I would get moments where everything was blurry even with my contacts in.

Hope this helps you all understand a bit more.

I had a relative that suddenly developed Type I diabetes after a viral illness. The doctor said that at least one type of virus can affect the islet cells in the pancreas that make the insulin. Actually, it's not that the virus itself attacks the islet cells, but the body apparently can make antibodies that attack the islet cells as part of an immune response with unintended consequences. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16712-viral-infection-may-prime-some-people-for-diabetes.html

gino
02-14-2010, 08:32 PM
Make sure you fully know and understand the rules and keep a copy of the USTA rules in regards to authorized rest periods for Diabetics.
Many officials do not fully understand the rules and or the seriousness of the condition

Thanks so much for all of the advice, do you happen to know the rule for my rest periods on change overs and between sets 10ispro???


Gino,

It's good to see you keeping up a positive attitude. My wife is a type 1 diabetic. She uses a pump which I highly recommend. This will help keep your glucose levels more consistent. If anything, the exercise will help you out a lot by keeping your A1C level down. Actually, Jay Cutler of the Chicago Bears is a type 1 diabetic. You can read about his story too by doing a google search. There is really no reason for you to believe you can't keep up with anyone else. Your primary concern would probably be to keep eating and to constantly check your sugars so you don't dip too low. It will be a lot of trial and error but keep at it and you will find what works best for you.



Thanks for the advice getitin, i have been working hard to develop a consistent routine and i am learning how to manage my exercise. I know I can play with all of the top juniors and I am training more intensely every single day.

gino
02-14-2010, 08:35 PM
As good as your strokes are (gotta love that 1hBh), what is even more impressive is the discipline in your movement. Great movement out of the split step, good speed to the ball, then nice adjusting small steps, and quick recovery.

Thanks for watching I really appreciate the compliments. I have put a lot of hard work into my tennis.

I had a relative that suddenly developed Type I diabetes after a viral illness. The doctor said that at least one type of virus can affect the islet cells in the pancreas that make the insulin. Actually, it's not that the virus itself attacks the islet cells, but the body apparently can make antibodies that attack the islet cells as part of an immune response with unintended consequences. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16712-viral-infection-may-prime-some-people-for-diabetes.html


That's exactly what my doctor believes caused my onset of Type 1. He said several illnesses or viruses can trigger the immune system to turn against the islet cells (which is those antibodies you described). It's a pretty unlucky situation but I need to keep moving forward if I truly want to be a great tennis player and hopefully play division I college tennis.

charliefedererer
02-15-2010, 05:13 AM
It's a pretty unlucky situation but I need to keep moving forward if I truly want to be a great tennis player and hopefully play division I college tennis.

While it's been a misfortune to have contracted diabetes, it sounds like you are determined not to let it hold you back. You may even want to contact your local diabetes society and let them know how successful you are in tennis. They may have contacts of other local athletes that have done well. And soon you can be an inspiration for other diabetics who weren't sure if they could perform athletically at a high level.

jrod
02-15-2010, 05:29 AM
Hey Gino-

I'm a type 1 diabetic. I was diagnosed in my early 30's and am now in my 50's. I am very similar to you in that I have always been active, extremely healthy lifestyle, eat well, etc. It was progressive in my case too, with all the same symptoms at onset.

I have used an insulin pump for the past several years. For a brief time I also used the continuous glucose monitor. This technology is incredibly powerful, but I found that it does have it's limitations, particularly in the case of highly active people. I've since reverted to finger stick testing since this is the most reliable way to get accurate blood sugar readings.

I play 6-7x per week and also cross train. My last A1C was 6.7 and generally runs below 7.0. For tennis, I find that as long as I can maintain my blood sugar between say 90 and 160 mg/dl, my focus is sharp and I can play at peak level. However, anything outside that range and my concentration wavers and I lose focus.

Shoot me an email if you'd like more details on insulin pumps or continuous glucose monitors.

-jrod

Vyse
02-15-2010, 07:38 AM
There was no particular reason. Just bad luck, no one in my family has Type 1 Diabetes... it is just in my genes. Type 1 Diabetes is genetic. Type 1 is not brought upon by poor eating habits, obesity, or hereditary characteristics, that is Type 2.

I found out I had diabetes progressively. I started by getting extremely thirsty, In one straight sets match i went through five gatorades and two waters. The increased thirst lead to me using the bathroom and having to urinate wayyyyyy to frequently. I was also getting extremely tired for no apparent reason and my eyesight was getting terrible. I would get moments where everything was blurry even with my contacts in.

Hope this helps you all understand a bit more.

Yes it does, thank you for telling me. Stay positive and keep rippin it up on the court!

kiteboard
02-15-2010, 07:52 AM
IF you want to improve your bh, look at henins' bh. Stay grounded with your hit foot, and don't lift the heel, and coil more, invert the back swing and arm bar the shot out front. Use your hips more, like throwing a frisbee or a spinning bh karate punch. If you want to work on it, I am in oakland/berkeley area.

Frank Silbermann
02-16-2010, 07:16 PM
By the way, I read that medical researchers may be near to developing a cure for this condition. But they're not quite there yet.

Read Bill Talbert's autobiography, _Playing for Life_. He was a top American tennis amateur and Davis Cup hero who developed Type I diabetes at the age of ten, just after doctors learned how to keep people alive with that syndrome:

http://www.amazon.com/Playing-Billy-Talberts-Story-Against/dp/B000WZKCAQ/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1266380066&sr=8-10

A little while ago (4/20/59) Sports Illustrated published the first part of the book, which they now have it available online:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1146540/index.htm

One important lesson is to keep something sweet with you had have someone who knows about your condition watch you and force you to eat/drink it if he sees signs you're going into insulin shock.

azbabolat
02-16-2010, 07:26 PM
Keep at it dude!

jrod
02-17-2010, 07:14 AM
By the way, I read that medical researchers may be near to developing a cure for this condition. But they're not quite there yet....



The cell transplant method seems to be getting a lot of attention, but the issue with this is rejection. The meds one has to take are usually lifelong and can be more dangerous than the disease itself. So this procedure is really a last resort.



One important lesson is to keep something sweet with you had have someone who knows about your condition watch you and force you to eat/drink it if he sees signs you're going into insulin shock.Anyone who is an insulin dependent diabetic should never go anywhere without having immediate access to consumable sugar. If you test frequently (which is really essential for active diabetics), you'll have the information you need to take corrective action before you get into trouble.

One other thing that active diabetics need to be careful of is exercising with elevated blood sugar levels. Once you start exercising, the liver will produce glycogen which can raise your blood sugar if your levels are above 250 mg/dl (this threshold varies by individual). It's important to have your level between say 100 and 200 prior to match play and test frequently so that you are making the right adjustments with insulin and sugar. Rarely should you need insulin, but it can happen.

Frank Silbermann
02-17-2010, 06:20 PM
The cell transplant method seems to be getting a lot of attention, but the issue with this is rejection. The meds one has to take are usually lifelong and can be more dangerous than the disease itself. So this procedure is really a last resort.

Anyone who is an insulin dependent diabetic should never go anywhere without having immediate access to consumable sugar. If you test frequently (which is really essential for active diabetics), you'll have the information you need to take corrective action before you get into trouble.

One other thing that active diabetics need to be careful of is exercising with elevated blood sugar levels. Once you start exercising, the liver will produce glycogen which can raise your blood sugar if your levels are above 250 mg/dl (this threshold varies by individual). It's important to have your level between say 100 and 200 prior to match play and test frequently so that you are making the right adjustments with insulin and sugar. Rarely should you need insulin, but it can happen. I thought there was also work with stem cells.

Also, I was under the impression that exercise _lowers_ your blood sugar (by burning glucose in the muscles). That's why, if your insulin dose is based on your non-exercising metabolism, exercise can leave you with too much insulin in your system -- which makes you seem like a drunk person, harms your decision-making ability, and can kill you if it goes on too long. Thus, the diabetic often doesn't realize what is going on, and needs a friend who can recognize the symptoms. (Alternatively, how many times during a match would you suggest he cut himself?)

Some diabetics die when the develop insulin shock and cops pick them up off the street assuming they are drunk and lock them up to get sober, when all that is needed is a quick bit of sugar.

jrod
02-18-2010, 04:52 AM
I thought there was also work with stem cells.

There is work, but it is in it's infancy. In addition, dubya's moronic policies iced the entire industry for the past 8 years (at least in the US).


Also, I was under the impression that exercise _lowers_ your blood sugar (by burning glucose in the muscles). That's why, if your insulin dose is based on your non-exercising metabolism, exercise can leave you with too much insulin in your system -- which makes you seem like a drunk person, harms your decision-making ability, and can kill you if it goes on too long. Thus, the diabetic often doesn't realize what is going on, and needs a friend who can recognize the symptoms. (Alternatively, how many times during a match would you suggest he cut himself?)

Some diabetics die when the develop insulin shock and cops pick them up off the street assuming they are drunk and lock them up to get sober, when all that is needed is a quick bit of sugar.Yes, exercise does lower your blood sugar. What you are referring to is hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). It can be very dangerous, but is extremely easy to treat (consume sugar). What I was referring to is not as well known, particularly among athletes who recently developed diabetes. It leads to hyperglycemia which is dangerous if untreated for longer periods of time. Complications are lethargy, lack of energy and even ketoacidosis over the short term.

It is often difficult for an outsider to determine whether a diabetic is suffering from high or low blood sugar. The recommendation for treating a diabetic person who is non-responsive or incoherent is to assume they are in a hypoglycemic state and give them sugar. If you are right, you can save their life. If you are wrong and they happen to be in a hyperglycemic state, giving them more sugar does very little to aggravate their current state. Usually, hyperglycemia will resolve itself by taking insulin but hospitialization may be required if ketoacidocis or other complications exist.

gino
02-28-2010, 08:55 PM
Thanks to everyone for all the responses and information, as well as advice. You guys are awesome. To all Diabetics: how often do you test during a match???

jrod
03-01-2010, 03:19 AM
Thanks to everyone for all the responses and information, as well as advice. You guys are awesome. To all Diabetics: how often do you test during a match???

Depends on what it was and how much it was changing before the match.If level was below 150 mg/dl and/or changing at a rate exceeding 10 mg/dl, I'll test every changeover until it stabilizes. Likewise, if above 250 mg/dl I'll test every changeover. Otherwise, I'll test every 5th game and at the end of a set.

gino
03-01-2010, 08:52 PM
Usually i am between 90-150mg/dl but today something weird happened. I started with a reading of 210mg/dl then I started my match after losing the first set in a tiebreak 7-6 (7-5) I tested and my level went up! I proceeded to lose the next set 6-4 in a tight match. How can having a high blood sugar affect my performance on court?

jrod
03-02-2010, 03:11 AM
Usually i am between 90-150mg/dl but today something weird happened. I started with a reading of 210mg/dl then I started my match after losing the first set in a tiebreak 7-6 (7-5) I tested and my level went up! I proceeded to lose the next set 6-4 in a tight match. How can having a high blood sugar affect my performance on court?


I suggest you read my previous posts as I've addressed this already, including the issue with your blood sugar going up once you start to exercise.

DCaicedo
03-15-2011, 11:25 AM
Just found this thread. Gino- best of luck with everything
Type I diabetic- diagnosed at 12 and am now 29. Was on shots for most of my life, but am now using the insulin pump and the CGM that jrod mentions.

My advice with diabetes and tennis:
- always carry sweets/gatorade/glucose tablets with you
- watch your weight (not sure if that applies to you now- or if you're doing some strength training)
- make sure someone around you (your opponent, your partner, coach, whoever) knows you're a diabetic
- don't get arrested like I did. I passed out once at a commuter train station because I went hypoglycemis and passed out. Handcuffs were put on, I was given a summons for "trespassing" (because I didn't know where I was, and I didn't know where I was going- silly cops :P) and there's probably a warrant out for my arrest somewhere.

4G and T1
04-07-2012, 09:01 PM
Great thread! Lots of good info on here. One thing I would add is to be very careful about using rapid acting insulin before a match or exercise. In my experience that increases the speed your blood drops. About a week ago I ate 56 grams of carbs and used 2 units of novolog (enough to cover about 20 grams). An hour later (and after 30 mins of tennis) I had dropped 50 points down to a 59. Not good.

One question: does any one know of any tennis camps for kids with juvenile diabetes? Tennis seems like a great activity for T1's: its a life-long sport where you don't have a coach screaming at you to run harder, and there are frequent opportunities to check blood sugar levels.

Have you heard of one? Do you think there would be interest if there was one?

- Chris

kungfu-mama
04-19-2012, 07:40 AM
Great thread! Lots of good info on here. One thing I would add is to be very careful about using rapid acting insulin before a match or exercise. In my experience that increases the speed your blood drops. About a week ago I ate 56 grams of carbs and used 2 units of novolog (enough to cover about 20 grams). An hour later (and after 30 mins of tennis) I had dropped 50 points down to a 59. Not good.

One question: does any one know of any tennis camps for kids with juvenile diabetes? Tennis seems like a great activity for T1's: its a life-long sport where you don't have a coach screaming at you to run harder, and there are frequent opportunities to check blood sugar levels.

Have you heard of one? Do you think there would be interest if there was one?

- Chris

I'm really glad I stumbled across this thread. I have a teenage son with type-1 diabetes who LOVES tennis, and it's been a challenge to help him play to the best of his ability for an entire long match. Currently, we start him off with a carb/protein shake (hoping that the protein keeps the carbs from spiking him too rapidly), and sipping a carb drink (SoBe or Vitamin Water; he doesn't like Gatorade), later on during the match.

As for tennis camps - the closest thing I've found in our neck of the woods is the Tennis & Life camp held at Gustavus Aldolphus. At least, in their FAQ section, they state that they accomodate players with diabetes and can assist them. But I, for one, would LOVE to see a tennis camp for kids with diabetes, something along the lines of the camps ADA sponsors each summer.

Now come the links. Here's one for the GA Tennis & Life camp: http://tennisandlifecamps.org/ And here's a link to a list of the ADA sponsored camps: http://www.needymeds.org/cas.taf?_function=list_disease&disease_id=411&disease=Juvenile%20Diabetes Here's a link to our local Camp Needlepoint: http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/parents-and-kids/ada-camps/camps/2012/ada-camp-needlepoint-2012.html

Hope all of that is at least interesting.

kungfu-mama
04-19-2012, 07:42 AM
I suggest you read my previous posts as I've addressed this already, including the issue with your blood sugar going up once you start to exercise.

Stress will also cause your blood sugar to spike.

gino
08-04-2013, 11:55 PM
Wanted to bump this thread as I have recently decided to make a bigger effort to maintain tighter blood sugar control.

For those who are return readers, I am entering my Junior year of college and playing at the Division III level. I've had my ups and downs with diabetes, my weight, and tennis, but I am looking forward to a great improvements academically and athletically this year.