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Thread: Diabetes and Football-how do you do it?

  1. #1

    Default Diabetes and Football-how do you do it?

    My son Sean just informed me that he wants to try to play football. My question is-how do I prevent him from bottoming out? Obviously I would remove his pump for practices and games but if this week is any indication, the hot july and August practices are going to be a nightmare on his blood sugar. So, for those of u who have boys that play football, your expertise is needed. We are 3 years into diabetes but this is the first for football.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Cedar Rapids, IA


    Chris is 12 and played flag FB last fall. He has also gone to a Chicago Bears Youth Football camp. He hasn't had any serious problems. He always has a sugar source and sipping Gatorade helps.The coaches know he has D and know to watch for signs of hypoglycemia. Frankly, he gets so excited he can even run a little high. I think there are several parents here who have kids in FB. I hope they will add their thoughts.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Billings MT

    Default Loves football

    Our son loves football. He is 11 and at the Little Guy level. I was worried at first but he takes his bag with lots of juice snacks and meter and checks very often. We had a good experience. He told the coaches on his own with us standing by that he was D. They said "what does that mean for us" He did a good job explaining. There was another boy with D on the same team.

    Mom to:
    Carly (16) non D
    Reese (14) dx T1 10/21/02 at age 5 MDI Lantus/Hum
    Wife to Bob-love of my life keeps me laughing

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007


    Sam plays and doesn't have any issues either. We make sure he is 150 or above before practice.
    He is doing flag, but is rather active. Games are interesting as with the adrenaline, he goes high no matter what we do.
    Analisa---mom to
    Sam age 12 dx 1/18/06, pumping minimed since 11/06 CGMS 6/08
    Natalie age 7, non D who is a self proclaimed D expert
    Sophia Bella almost 3 and as spoiled as can be

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Near Fresno California


    Tis is what we do for intense sports, It amy take some trial and error, but it does work


    Seth 17, dx'd at 7 (shots for most of 9+ years, has been on the Omnipod/Apidra for 1 year)

    Always always always....Trust your gut!:

  6. #6


    thank you for the tips. I like the Gatorade tip though my kids seem to like Powerade better. It is all the same right?. Did any of you park yourself on the sideline or stay at every practice just in case or did you let your kid handle it all himself? I don't want to be overbearing, but I want to make sure he is safe. He tends to have drastic lows during exercise and we treat them then we fight highs. Sean+insulin+exercise+heat=low blood sugar.

  7. #7


    This will be Tylers fourth football season with diabetes. He has been on MDI not the pump during the seasons though (he is currently taking a pump vacation partly due to football) I am not sure how long practices are going to be for you son, but 2 hours disconnected for Tyler would make him go too high during practice.

    I don't find that he goes low during the games because even if you play the whole entire game, it isn't continuous exercise (football is kind of stop, play for 30 seconds, stop again, play for 30 seconds, etc), also the adrenaline from the games usually makes his bg go sky high.

    During practices, he brings G2 in his water bottle and most times will drink his entire bottle during practice (around 32 oz). I find the regular gatorade has too many carbs for Tyler and makes him go too high and that G2 is his "magic" drink during intense workouts.

    I don't hang out on the sidelines during practice, but I do stay at the field, as do most other parents. I am usually on the playground with Lilly, so I not far away if something comes up. Many parents walk the track, or bring a chair and read the paper and chat with other parents.

    Honestly, figuring out sports for our kids with diabetes is trial and error, I always begin a new sport on the side of caution, and see what happens, and then slowly bring his beginning numbers down when we both feel more comfortable. It took 3 hockey seasons to figure out his magic number where he wouldn't go low or high and could perform his best.

    Jen, Mom to
    Tyler 14 dxd at 6 (7/8/05)
    Pumping with Green Ping 11/09
    Lantus for basal
    CGM - Dexcom G4
    Minimed 722/CGMS 12/08 - 6/09
    Currently playing Hockey
    & Lilly non -d 7 my soccer playing, dancing drama queen

    Always keep in mind, everyone is different, and most of the time solutions come after much trial and error

    IT IS WHAT IT IS....

  8. #8


    I guess I will have to play it by ear. Sean does not want to go back to shots for any reason. What if I leave the pump on him but give him some uncovered carbs before practice and just let the basal rate and the exercise handle it? Do you think this could work?

  9. #9


    Joey played tackle football last year - he loves it - for me it is a nightmare. I remove the pump during practices and games. He would skyrocket - even with increased basals prior to pump removal. so this year - I have just begun the untethered method - before football practices begin in august. I want to see how it works while we go up to the beach and have it all ironed out before he starts. I don't know if this method will - but i'm giving it a go.
    Mom to Joey Age 11 (DX 4/25/06) Pump MM 1/5/07 CGMS 1/4/08
    Jess 17 (NonD)
    Corrine 20 (NonD)

  10. #10


    I honestly don't know if Sean's blood sugar will skyrocket or bottom out. I just know that with bike riding and swimming he goes low on hot and humid days. July and August are hot and humid here in Indiana. I also know what they the say when u assume something


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