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Diabetic hikers and climbers

Discussion of medical or rescue topics related to climbing and mountaineering.
 

Diabetic hikers and climbers

Postby highlandvillager » Fri Dec 04, 2009 9:20 pm

Are there any diabetic hikers or climbers here? What tips do you have for controlling blood sugar levels during long, strenuous days in the outdoors? A friend of mine who is diabetic and who maintains very tight control over his blood sugar levels shows great interest in my trips, but always declines going because he thinks he will have trouble controlling his blood sugar. I wish he could go with me, and think he might if I can offer him some ideas to ensure his health.
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Diabetic Hard Man

Postby sharperblue » Fri Dec 04, 2009 9:41 pm

A friend (recently passed away - cheers out to you, Paul!) was severely diabetic but also a 'hard man' in the classic old skool sense of the term. he always carried his insulin kit, as well as a complete back-up kit (which came in handy when he became semi-comatose after spoiling a batch that got too warm stored in his breast pocket during a climb..)

On the trail and on route, he was religious about checking his levels, often! AND making sure i knew what to do if he went into diabetic shock. Otherwise, he relied on lots of GU and frequent near-candy-bar level trail bars and power gels. I can't stress strongly enough how conservative he was about monitoring his levels.

seemed to work great for 45 years :)
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Postby MoapaPk » Fri Dec 04, 2009 9:45 pm

If he normally does long intense exercise -- like runs or bikes many miles -- he already has the best preparation for knowing how his body will react. If he doesn't have experience with that kind of exercise, then he's probably justified in turning you down.

I've known diabetics who did some fairly intensive stuff in the outdoors, and some seemed to have one disturbing trait in common: they couldn't really tell when they were falling off the edge, and even became combative when friends or spouses urged them to eat, take meds, etc. I hope my experiences were anomalous.
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Postby highlandvillager » Fri Dec 04, 2009 10:48 pm

sharperblue - Good to know your friend made it work and enjoyed the time he had. Teaching you how to treat him for diabetic shock, etc was a good idea. It would be good for me and my other hiking partners to learn this.
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Postby BeDrinkable » Fri Dec 04, 2009 10:52 pm

You might try contacting this guy. He also has a link on his main page to a webpage about pursuing outdoor activities with diabetes.
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Postby highlandvillager » Fri Dec 04, 2009 10:59 pm

MoapaPk - My friend is a gym rat, but probably has never exercised for hours on end as is required to get up and down many mountains. We would have to start on some easier stuff, see how things go, and work our way up. Fortunately, he is extremely self aware when it comes to his sugar levels and not at all combative about testing and correcting on the rare occasion that I notice something awry before he does.
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Postby highlandvillager » Fri Dec 04, 2009 11:16 pm

BeDrinkable - Great links! Thanks!
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Postby David P. » Fri Dec 11, 2009 4:44 pm

Hey there.

I am another one of those diabetic climbers, although it's been too long since my last mountain trip (last summer did some routes in the Crestones with another diabetic climber, trip report posted on diabetic.friendsinhighplaces.org)

Search the forums on summitpost.org for more information.

diabetic.friendsinhighplaces.org

madidea Yahoo group

www.idea2000.org

Cheers and best luck, dp

p.s. - MoapaPk makes some excellent points!
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