Forums: Community: Skydivers with Disabilities:
Diabetes

 

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mollusc  (D 66539)

Feb 20, 2004, 2:48 AM
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Diabetes Can't Post

Hi

About a year ago I was diagnosed with diabetes 1. I was then told that this was not compatible with skydiving, so I would not have been allowed start jumping. Since i already had about 100 jumps at the time I was allowed to continue. However, I was told to lay off 6 months or so to get familiar with my condition. I only managed 3 weeks though.

I am the only skydiver I know of with diabetes, but I am sure there must be more?

Matters I would like to know about is what rules other countries have, and what I can expect visiting other countries? Will I be grounded? Also all kinds of other experiences are of interest.

dag


boxingrrl  (D 25469)

Feb 20, 2004, 12:05 PM
Post #2 of 47 (4137 views)
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Re: [mollusc] Diabetes [In reply to] Can't Post

I know of a diabetic skydiver at my DZ. He seems to do just fine. I know that he monitors his diet and doesn't seem to drink excessively in order to stay within the limits of his insulin.

I doubt that you would be grounded at too many US DZ's. If you're under a doctor's care and they've released you (more or less), and you sign the waiver, I think you're pretty well good to go. I would be sure to tell someone at a new DZ, and make sure they know where your supplies are. And, go easy at first-- adrenaline will have it's way with your system and you might not respond as normal to your insulin.

I would think that it would just like being involved in any other sport. No reason for diabetes to hold you back, but you might have to take extra precautions or be more prepared with food and supplies for the day.

Good luck to you!Smile


Hubsu  (C License)

Feb 20, 2004, 1:47 PM
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Re: [mollusc] Diabetes [In reply to] Can't Post

Here here!

I have had Diabetes for 18 years now and jumping more or less from 1996. I'm very carefull about my bloodsugar when I'm jumping, but other from that, I really don't care about the disease. Drinking has not been ever a problem for me. I just drink Angelic

Here in Finland jumping with diabetes type 1 was a big no no, but nowadays I know 2 other diabetic jumpers. It's pretty much allowed if you get a go from your personal doctor and you seem fit otherwise.

I tell about my condition to jumpers whom I jump with. I think it's safer for me and them if I do that.


mdrrus  (D 23162)

Feb 20, 2004, 2:09 PM
Post #4 of 47 (4117 views)
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Re: [mollusc] Diabetes [In reply to] Can't Post

Jumping with diabetes should be no more of a problem than driving with diabetes. You should however, take time to stabilize your blood sugar. You didn't indicate whether you are on oral medications or injectable insulin. In the US diabetes is no longer a restriction for a class 3 medical certificate for flying. You must have your doctor verify that your diabetes is under control.
You should also be aware that in any sport where there is physicial exertion the insulin requirements of the body are slightly reduced and therefore you need to be aware that low blood sugars can occur.
When I skydive I reduce the amount of Insulin I take and make sure that I eat regularly during the day. Before you do that though, check with your doctor, hopefully a skydiving doctor (they understand more the aspects of skydiving.)
There are many skydivers with diabetes, you should find no limitations to enjoy this sport.


mwabd1  (D 25298)

Feb 20, 2004, 5:29 PM
Post #5 of 47 (4105 views)
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Re: [mollusc] Diabetes [In reply to] Can't Post

Well I am a type 1, and I was diagnosed in 2000, I have been jumping since 1997. I took a few months off but more because when it was diagnosed my glucose was >750, and it was really hard to control. I switched to a pump 2 years ago and it makes all of the difference, I went from the controlled diet to eating what I want and when I want, and yes I drink (alcohol) just not like I used to but I have been know to get enebriated. I do wear my pump under my jumpsuit, but will take it off if I don't wear one, $6000 worth of medical equipment is no easily replaceible. As far as being grounded I would get a letter from your doctor and carry it with you to other dz's. Now if you are on injections I would recommend that you let your blood suger run a little high when you jump (150-175mg/dl) cause I am sure you know what it's like when it gets low and that sucks on jump run!!! I would also recommend an aad if you do not have one, I don't as of yet mainly due to the cost.

That's my 2 cents but I am interested to hear from others and share some advise concerning jumping with diabetes.


nbblood  (D 26355)

Feb 22, 2004, 7:29 PM
Post #6 of 47 (4065 views)
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Re: [mollusc] Diabetes [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi,
I also know of a diabetic at our DZ. Great guy, really good skydiver. Anyway, enough of us know of his condition that if something weren't right we would notice. I recommend letting some people know of your condition and what to look for if your blood sugar gets low and what action to take. Monitor yourself carefully. I think the other suggestions were great. Other than that, drive on! Don't let it stop you.

Blues,
Nathan


mollusc  (D 66539)

Feb 23, 2004, 5:47 AM
Post #7 of 47 (4048 views)
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Re: [mwabd1] Diabetes [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi

It is actually a relieve to hear there are more like me. I have never tried to hide when injecting insulin, and more than once people have been given me strange looks.But I really don't mind. I don't think people in general know much about diabetes. I know I didn't before I got it myself. Sometimes people come to ask what it's all about, 'cause most people know it's not strictly by the book. Even a tandem master, who did not quite know what to do about a diabetic passenger. I think maybe me being there was the reasons he was allowed to jump.I try to enlighten as many as I can by being totally open.

One of the first things I did when diagnosed with type 1 was calling an aviation medic, who also happened to be a specialist in internal medicine. He told me to go for it, but wait six months. Before traveling to DZ's abroad, I'll ask him to give it to me in written.

Yes, telling your buddies is important, totally agree there. Of course on jump run, but also when drinking alcohol. I usually forget taking my humulin when drinking (a lot), and that works just fine on me.

I try to get high before jumping.Laugh 8-10 mmol/l (144-180 mg/dl?) makes me feel comfortable. I have an AAD, and that gives me some more comfort. I used one before I got diabetes as well.

I've been thinking of getting a pump, but I am pretty active and thought there might be problems. I know see you can just take it off, excellent Cool. Now I need to do some serious thinking.

dag


mwabd1  (D 25298)

Feb 23, 2004, 9:57 AM
Post #8 of 47 (4037 views)
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Re: [mollusc] Diabetes [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
(144-180 mg/dl?)

miligrams per deciliter.

and as far as the pump goes, I am very active also, and it is the best thing since sliced bread!!


falxori  (D License)

Feb 24, 2004, 2:36 PM
Post #9 of 47 (4000 views)
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Re: [mollusc] Diabetes [In reply to] Can't Post

i have diabetes for about 9 years (wow, thats a long time...) and i've been jumping for almost 3 years.

to make it simple, i dont see skydiving as being any different from any other activity you have to be on top of things for (ie, driving, diving etc) and the amount of time in which you can't pop something sweet is not so long anyway (as opposed to scuba diving),
keep yourself a bit higher than normal and test before you go up.
i do agree with the advice you got to stay on the ground until you are sure youre pretty much balanced.

i really don't agree with the "can't start jumping" with diabetes.
some doctors would hesitate to give you a note that its ok, mine did at first and i can understand it.
after all, its their butt on the line if you pass out in mid air.
but after i've explained it to them i got a note stating that i'm in good control, drive a car and run a normal life (they didnt want to mention skydiving in specific...)
anyway, i know of several diabetics who jumps, and its not a problem.

and diabetes is not a disability !

O


Ron

Mar 1, 2004, 7:19 AM
Post #10 of 47 (3946 views)
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Re: [mollusc] Diabetes [In reply to] Can't Post

Diabetic with 3,000 jumps

If its under control it's not an issue.

I have been told that the FAA has eased up on the Class 3 medical as well, so I may start flying again.


scalythings  (B 27142)

Mar 3, 2004, 2:03 PM
Post #11 of 47 (3918 views)
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Re: [mollusc] Diabetes [In reply to] Can't Post

Type I for 21+ years now @ 2 injections/day. Great advice given here in recommending slight elevation of mg/dl to about 150. Adrenaline usually depletes glucose levels a bit. Haven't run into any barriers to speak of, but expect to be declined if you ever apply for tandem rating. My primary AFF instructor was stripped of his tandem privileges upon disclosing his diagnosis of Type II to USPA. If the FAA has indeed become more lenient on Class 3 med requirements, hopefully USPA will allow him to resume his tandem activities.


Luv2Fall  (B License)

Mar 10, 2004, 12:00 PM
Post #12 of 47 (3880 views)
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Re: [mollusc] Diabetes [In reply to] Can't Post

Was notified by my doc, today, that I have Borderline/Mild Diabetes........nothing drastic. She's suggesting loosing a few pounds to do the trick. Man, I hate watching what I eat lol.


mwabd1  (D 25298)

Mar 11, 2004, 5:22 AM
Post #13 of 47 (3866 views)
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Re: [Luv2Fall] Diabetes [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Was notified by my doc, today, that I have Borderline/Mild Diabetes........

I think this is where doctors are just practicing......there is no borderline, kinda-sorta, or middle ground, if you ask any endocrenologist your either diabetic or your not, being overweight does affect glucose levels but I would'nt say that your diabetic.


Luv2Fall  (B License)

Mar 11, 2004, 5:45 AM
Post #14 of 47 (3864 views)
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Re: [mwabd1] Diabetes [In reply to] Can't Post

That's what my personal research shows me.....either/or. Hmmmmmmmmm.......VA docs......a great wonder of the world sometimes.


volkerschuh

Mar 23, 2004, 11:46 AM
Post #15 of 47 (3834 views)
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Re: [mollusc] Diabetes [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi all! Diabetes type 1 since 1987, 350 Jumps, 100 Video-Jumps. 4 Injections a day, no problems if being carefully. I want my blood sugar to be a bit higher than normally when bording the plane. The bigger problem is the beer in the evening, but you can manage that, too.

Blue Skies, Volk Air.


smiles  (D 41)

Apr 15, 2004, 1:13 AM
Post #16 of 47 (3766 views)
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Re: [mollusc] Diabetes [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I am the only skydiver I know of with diabetes, but I am sure there must be more?

Not any more!!
I have diabetes type 1 and injecting insulin daily for 39 years-been skydiving 15 years have 1000+ jumps. Live in Canada- had dr. exam when writing "A" license and that her.

Had no health problems related to diabetes- my eye dr. cannot believe that my eyes are so perfect (can usually tell a person has diabetes by looking in their eyes due to tiny blood vessels bursting) I am most likely in better health than many as I do eat regular meals with proper exchanges of protien, carbs, fruit & fat... exercise regular...test blood sugars and keep them in control...........other than that diabetes is no big deal----you are in control of it which is CoolCool

Everyone luvs me at my home d.z. as always carry snacks & food (eat something before manifesting and carry glucose tabs in jumpsuit pocket)

SMilesWink


hmatousek  (C 34102)

Apr 26, 2004, 8:01 PM
Post #17 of 47 (3724 views)
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Re: [mollusc] Diabetes [In reply to] Can't Post

I've had type 1 diabetes for 15 years and have been jumping for about 2 of those. I find that adrenaline suppresses the insulin and makes my blood sugars higher. The advice here has been great! I have learned a lot.

I am curious however with the people who drink, do you ever find that you get more lows the next day? I find that if I drink a lot the night before I typically don't do much skydiving the next day because of the many lows I get.


falxori  (D License)

Apr 29, 2004, 7:38 AM
Post #18 of 47 (3708 views)
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Re: [hmatousek] Diabetes [In reply to] Can't Post

yes, after drinking your levels are often screwed up.
there are several theories for that, one of which i remember is that the alcohol suppresses glucose release from the liver.

or as my doctor says, "you shouldn't drink but since i know you do, drink smart..."

O


Lindsey  (D 17865)

May 4, 2004, 11:25 PM
Post #19 of 47 (3678 views)
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Re: [mwabd1] Diabetes [In reply to] Can't Post

No...listen to your doctor. The term for "borderline/mild diabetes" is Impaired Glucose Tolerance or Impaired Fasting Glucose, and there are standardized diagnostic criteria that doctors use. They are as follows:

Impaired fasting glucose (IFG) Fasting plasma glucose between 100 and 125 mg/dL (5.6 to 6.9 mmol/L) rather than between 110 and 125 mg/dL (6.1 to 6.9 mmol/L). This new cutoff for IFG provides a similar prevalence as IGT in the WHO criteria, which is based upon both fasting and two-hour OGTT values.

Most people in this category of Type 2 diabetes will convert to normal blood blood sugar by a 10% reduction in body weight.

Peace~
Lindsey

In reply to:
Quote:
Was notified by my doc, today, that I have Borderline/Mild Diabetes........

I think this is where doctors are just practicing......there is no borderline, kinda-sorta, or middle ground, if you ask any endocrenologist your either diabetic or your not, being overweight does affect glucose levels but I would'nt say that your diabetic.


Luv2Fall  (B License)

May 5, 2004, 10:22 AM
Post #20 of 47 (3669 views)
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Re: [Lindsey] Diabetes [In reply to] Can't Post

Is that enough to make you feel like crap...........I mean real crap. Crazy


Lindsey  (D 17865)

May 5, 2004, 6:57 PM
Post #21 of 47 (3657 views)
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Re: [Luv2Fall] Diabetes [In reply to] Can't Post

Are you asking a question? I don't understand. If you're asking if Impaired Fasting Glucose or Impaired Glucose Tolerance is enough to make you feel like crap, then probably not. Everybody's different though...

Peace~
Lindsey


mwabd1  (D 25298)

May 7, 2004, 6:26 PM
Post #22 of 47 (3644 views)
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Re: [hmatousek] Diabetes [In reply to] Can't Post

Well drinking does not seem to afect me to bad but I wear a pump so my glucose levels are very controlled but I do have a tendency to screw them up. If I take my pump off to many times a day while jumping it tends to rise very rapidly!


hmatousek  (C 34102)

May 14, 2004, 8:42 AM
Post #23 of 47 (3619 views)
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Re: [mwabd1] Diabetes [In reply to] Can't Post

I also wear a pump but I do notice still that if I do any drinking the night before I have to watch the bs levels a whole lot more than if I don't jump.

When jumping for an entire day and taking my pump on and off several times I do find that the sugar levels rise.

Do you ever jump with your pump on? I only do when I am wearing a full suit. I am afraid of it falling of with my free fly pants. Fun stuff!!! Crazy


mwabd1  (D 25298)

May 21, 2004, 5:48 AM
Post #24 of 47 (3595 views)
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Re: [hmatousek] Diabetes [In reply to] Can't Post

I will jump with my pump only if I have a jump suit on, to much money to lose!!!!


mwabd1  (D 25298)

May 21, 2004, 5:52 AM
Post #25 of 47 (3593 views)
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Re: [mwabd1] Diabetes [In reply to] Can't Post

Well somehting else that occoured to me, I am going to Rantoul this year for a week, I wonder if the organizers will have about 1 square inch of fridge space that I can borrow for my insulin. I'll be shacked up in tent city.


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