Swimming with type 1 diabetes doesn’t have to be scary or difficult, even if it can be dangerous. Like with most other physical activities, we have to be careful about our blood sugar levels.

In this episode, Jessie and I discuss why it’s important to practice safety while swimming with diabetes, how heat affects blood sugars, open-water swimming, sun safety, and our experiences in the water.

Wins & Fails

Jessie’s Win: Jessie started running again! She’s on her school’s cross-country team and hasn’t focused on running while stuck at home during lockdown.

Colleen’s Fail: I had a compression low the other night that I didn’t catch, but my husband did. He came in and woke me up without hesitation to ask that I check my blood sugar on the meter just in case. My pump read 46 mg/dL with double arrows down, but my meter said 117 mg/dL. 

Tip of the Week

When you’re swimming, especially when you have diabetes, it’s important to have some extra supplies on hand. Keep extra infusion sets and sensors with you in case they fall off after you get out of the water.

Diabetes Spotlight

The spotlight this week is on Gary Hall Jr., a United States Olympic swimmer diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1999 who won gold at the 2000 and 2004 Olympics.

His reaction to the diagnosis was “Utter despair.” He said that “You spend so much time dedicated to fine-tuning your body to be able to compete with the best athletes in the world, and to have your body fail you at a young age—it’s scary.”

Hall was 24 at diagnosis and had no family history of the disease. He proves that it’s not impossible to go swimming with type 1 diabetes!

Now It's Your Turn...

What’s your experience with swimming, hot tubs, and diabetes? What tips do you have for staying safe while in the water?

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