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Newly diagnosed with questions about basketball

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by Dxdiabetic13, May 13, 2016.

  1. Dxdiabetic13

    Dxdiabetic13 Approved members

    May 12, 2016
    My 13yr old son was diagnosed almost 3 weeks ago and has always been an athlete so I'm looking for advice and others experience with playing team sports. He has been playing basketball for several years and the summer league will be starting soon. I'm nervous about what this will do to his blood sugar levels. I know that he needs to have complex carbs and more frequent BG testing with physical activity but wondering what the best way to handle this is. I'm so glad I found this forum because I feel like I am not alone and can get an idea of what might come in the future. So please share your experience with me so I can try to calm down about starting basketball again.
  2. StacyMM

    StacyMM Approved members

    Oct 22, 2010
    It's trial and error, mostly. My son will spike while playing in games but drop while at practice so we handle them differently. After games, he needs reduced insulin so we cut all post-game boluses in half and drop basal by about 90% for 1-1.5 hours at bedtime. Practices don't need that, though, unless it's a running practice. We usually leave boluses alone and just do a temp basal at bedtime. My daughter, however, typically dropped during games but didn't have issues with practices. That said, she played when she was younger and she wasn't exactly a 'play hard' kind of kid...more of a 'I'll do enough to get by' kind of kid...and my son is much more invested in playing.

    Three weeks in so I imagine he is MDI and honeymooning? I suggest checking pre-game and between quarters or at half-time, and of having two different drinks for him. If he's running lower, drink the Gatorade, if he's running higher, drink the water. Be nearby, if you are nervous, or be where you can watch him. Depending on the school's gym, I either sit behind and off to the side of the team, or across from them. Either way, I can see him and typically tell when he's "off" so it's just become a convenient habit.

    Sports are completely doable :) My son plays baseball, basketball and football and it takes work but we make it happen.
  3. njswede

    njswede Approved members

    Feb 9, 2015
    Two things:

    1) You're going to see a combination of highs from the excitement and lows from the physical activity. If you have a CGM, it's going to be VERY helpful in these situations. You're going to have to play it by ear, but it's doable.
    2) Whatever you do, make sure your kids continues to play basketball! My son plays (American) football and it's his chance to show that he can do just as well as the non-D kids. It's his chance to shine. Yes, sports takes some extra attention from us as parents, but it's so worth it.

    Good luck and welcome to the community that no one really wants to be part of.
  4. MissMadisonsMom

    MissMadisonsMom Approved members

    Feb 24, 2008
    Madison was also a basketball player when she was dx'd. It really is trial and error and lots of testing. A conversation with doc may help with getting some guidance, but what worked for us was if we knew she was going to have a big game we would adjust her Lantus (long acting) down a bit for the day and have her sip Gatorade slowly throughout the day and lots of water. She would also eat a protein filled meal before the game and protein snacks after. She was usually fine with all of that, but it was always night time when her body would catch up. Lows were caught many nights so please test a lot.

    My advice in the beginning is to go to his games and watch, cheer him on and enjoy yourself. Know that if he starts to run into problems that you are there to help him out. Also, educate his coaches on what to do to help your son handle lows and highs and possibly keep some glucose tabs or juice in their med kit. You may notice that he isn't acting 'himself' and you could come up with a sign for him to test. I had one of Madison's softball coaches come up to me during a game and ask me if Madison could be low (she wasn't pitching very well) and I said ask her to test. He came back to me to tell me that her blood sugar was fine she just wasn't pitching well :)

    You'll find that your son will develop a 'sweet spot' blood sugar number for playing. Madison's was 180 for basketball - she became a bit aggressive, alert, determined and focused. Her endo laughed when we told her that we had discovered the sweet spot she had told us about.

    None of this should discourage you from allowing him to continue basketball because that is exactly what he should be doing right now. Being a normal kid! Madison and her good friend down the road were diagnosed within a month of each other (we blame the water :)) and they both were amazing athletes in multiple sports at the time. Madison is now a collegiate softball pitcher and her friend is on a full ride football scholarship for his university. They are both on CGM's and Pumps, but they also test a lot during and after games.

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