GGolf is not a very demanding sport, which means that diabetes management is often easier than with other sports. It is easy to carry food, either on your person or in your bag, and blood glucose testing can be done at any time (apart from mid-swing).
However, there are still a few variables that can alter how you manage your diabetes. Courses that have a higher volume of longer holes and lots of hills will inevitably mean you expend more energy. It is a good idea to study the course that you are playing, be it 9 or 18 holes, before venturing out there.
Type 1 golfers
A 9 hole course will, obviously, require half the amount of energy and time as an 18 hole course. Although, how you manage your diabetes will not differ and can be adapted for either. The amount of food being carried and the amount of blood tests being taken should double from each course type. Your doctor may also advise you to adjust your insulin doses, but this should not be done without discussing it with them first.
Playing at different times of the day may also affect how you adjust your insulin management. Before changing any part of your diabetes management, including your insulin regimen, contact your healthcare professional for clarification on the best course of action to take.
Of course, there are ways in which you can reduce the chances of hypos, including adjusting your insulin doses before playing. However, you must discuss this with a healthcare professional first as the advice given for this is assessed on a case by case basis.
Type 2 golfers on medication that could cause hypoglycaemia
Speak to your doctor if you are unsure as to whether the medication that you are on could cause hypoglycaemia. Your doctor will be able to tell you whether or not a normal dose of your medication should be sufficient to avoid a hypo when playing at any time of day. And, it is important that you carry hypo treatments and are regularly testing in case your blood sugars do start to fall.
For the best advice, contact your healthcare professional.
One last tip
Try to avoid playing by yourself in case you have a hypo. If this is unavoidable, then make sure you have let someone know where and when you are playing and you have a medical ID bracelet on.
Also, make sure your feet are looked after while playing golf, especially as you will be on your feet for a substantial amount of time. Selecting the right golf shoes will help keep your feet healthy.
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