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Thread: Swimming and diabetes

  1. #1
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    Swimming and diabetes

    I've been reading the forums for awhile now and thought it would be useful to have a thread where people can talk about their experiences of swimming with diabetes.

    I was diagnosed with Type II last summer and started Metformin. I've had conflicting advice about diet and have found that what works best for me is low carb. I had been swimming about 1500 meters three or four times a week prior to diagnosis. As I have increased my yardage to 5000 meters five or six times a week, my blood sugar has been easier to manage (down from 196 to 105) without hypoglycemia. I am still learning about supplements.

    I am very interested in other people's experiences and that you have found helpful. Thanks!

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    raced the 200 fly couldbebetterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Swimming and diabetes

    While I have no experience in this, it made me think of Steve Redgrave, the British rower, who won 5 olymic golds, despite his diabetes diagnosis. I saw a documentary on him a few years back - he is such an inspiration! Anyway - here'e a link to his website, I know you were asking about personal experiences, but thought you might find it interesting

    http://www.steveredgrave.com/diabetes.html
    30something and way too young for my times

  3. #3
    Very Active Member aquageek's Avatar
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    Re: Swimming and diabetes

    He has Type 1, which is much different than Type II. Very inspirational, however.

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    Very Active Member geochuck's Avatar
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    Re: Swimming and diabetes

    I have type two diabetes - I was at the lab the other morning to have a blood test. The lab opens at 7:00 am. I was there about 5 minute before it opened, there was a line up of 4 people ahead of me. Two guys were having an argument about who was there first. The lab technichian came and opend the door. A 75 year old said he was first and a 90 year old said no, I am first. The 75 year old started pushing his way in but the 90 year old grabbed him and started pulling the other guy back. The 90 year wrestled with the younger guy, the younger guy said I was first I sat in my car until opening time so I am going in first.

    The lab technician settled the argument and let the 90 year old go first. What a good start to a morning.
    Keep it simple George Park
    New swimsuit styles http://www.swimdownhill.com

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    Re: Swimming and diabetes

    I was diagnosed two years ago next month with type II. My fasting blood glucose numbers were in the 300s and I had all the hallmark symptoms they warn you to not ignore. While scary at first, it's probably the best thing that ever happened to me. It's changed my life for the better. I've changed my diet completely, I rediscovered exercise and I lost almost 50 pounds. I stayed on Metformin for about six months until my numbers stabilized low. I now hover around 100 (fBG) in the mornings and my HgA1C is at 6 (sometimes lower). I'm fairly strict with my diet although I cheat in small portions occasionally. I try to swim or run most every day and I use guilt to get me through those days in which I'm not terribly motivated. :-) When diagnosed I was 225 pounds. At 6'1" that not terrible but I certainly can see and feel the difference now. Overall I feel better about myself. I just wish I could swim faster!

    I certainly owe a lot to Masters swimming, CRUZ masters in particular, for providing me with a pool to swim, people with whom to swim and an incentive to come most every day. I've spoken with a lot of Type 2s out there that struggle to take the first step towards recovery. Squeezing yourself into a speedo when you're 50 pounds overweight isn't easy by any measure (physically or emotionally). At least with Masters, people aren't judgmental about such things. Most everyone has too many things on their mind to care much about your physical appearance!

    Anyway, good luck to you. Fixing yourself isn't easy but it's well worth the effort!

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    Re: Swimming and diabetes


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    Re: Swimming and diabetes

    Quote Originally Posted by geochuck View Post
    I have type two diabetes - I was at the lab the other morning to have a blood test. The lab opens at 7:00 am. I was there about 5 minute before it opened, there was a line up of 4 people ahead of me. Two guys were having an argument about who was there first. The lab technichian came and opend the door. A 75 year old said he was first and a 90 year old said no, I am first. The 75 year old started pushing his way in but the 90 year old grabbed him and started pulling the other guy back. The 90 year wrestled with the younger guy, the younger guy said I was first I sat in my car until opening time so I am going in first.

    The lab technician settled the argument and let the 90 year old go first. What a good start to a morning.
    Hi, George. Thanks for the lab story. I fondly think about slapping on my own tourniquet and taking my own blood sample as I watch the lab move at glacial pace.

    You didn't say how you are doing. So, how are you doing? Are you combining diet, exercise and/or meds? Good luck, and thanks for resurrecting the thread.

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    Re: Swimming and diabetes

    Quote Originally Posted by bjcarter View Post
    I was diagnosed two years ago next month with type II. My fasting blood glucose numbers were in the 300s and I had all the hallmark symptoms they warn you to not ignore. While scary at first, it's probably the best thing that ever happened to me. It's changed my life for the better. I've changed my diet completely, I rediscovered exercise and I lost almost 50 pounds. I stayed on Metformin for about six months until my numbers stabilized low. I now hover around 100 (fBG) in the mornings and my HgA1C is at 6 (sometimes lower). I'm fairly strict with my diet although I cheat in small portions occasionally. I try to swim or run most every day and I use guilt to get me through those days in which I'm not terribly motivated. :-) When diagnosed I was 225 pounds. At 6'1" that not terrible but I certainly can see and feel the difference now. Overall I feel better about myself. I just wish I could swim faster!

    I certainly owe a lot to Masters swimming, CRUZ masters in particular, for providing me with a pool to swim, people with whom to swim and an incentive to come most every day. I've spoken with a lot of Type 2s out there that struggle to take the first step towards recovery. Squeezing yourself into a speedo when you're 50 pounds overweight isn't easy by any measure (physically or emotionally). At least with Masters, people aren't judgmental about such things. Most everyone has too many things on their mind to care much about your physical appearance!

    Anyway, good luck to you. Fixing yourself isn't easy but it's well worth the effort!
    Way to go BJ! Your story is exactly what I was looking for when I started the thread. After a year my numbers are nearly normal (Hgb A1c 5.9, fBG average 108). I'm still on metformin and still on a low carb diet.

    I really agree with you that the diagnosis prompted me to make lifestyle changes that are really good for me. Keep up the good work!

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    Re: Swimming and diabetes

    Quote Originally Posted by Fresnoid View Post
    Thanks, Keith, for the USMS link to Scott Nichols' story. He reported that his doctor found him to be an anomaly because of 1000 patients he was the only to use exercise as a significant adjunct to treatment. My (first) doctor didn't think exercise would make a significant difference and tried to discourage me from trying! My new doctor was unaware of any evidence that exercise could help but was willing to go slow on starting multiple additional (beyond metformin) medications until I could show her what I could do. I never had to start those other medications. Swimming and low carb have been the keys for me.

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    Very Active Member geochuck's Avatar
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    Re: Swimming and diabetes

    The lab here was great, results were into my doctor two days later. I have an appointment Monday to go over the results. I have not been doing exercise so expect cah cah from the doctor. It is important to exercise to keep blood sugar at bay.
    Quote Originally Posted by SealGirl View Post
    Hi, George. Thanks for the lab story. I fondly think about slapping on my own tourniquet and taking my own blood sample as I watch the lab move at glacial pace.

    You didn't say how you are doing. So, how are you doing? Are you combining diet, exercise and/or meds? Good luck, and thanks for resurrecting the thread.
    Keep it simple George Park
    New swimsuit styles http://www.swimdownhill.com

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    Re: Swimming and diabetes

    Quote Originally Posted by SealGirl View Post
    Thanks, Keith, for the USMS link to Scott Nichols' story. He reported that his doctor found him to be an anomaly because of 1000 patients he was the only to use exercise as a significant adjunct to treatment. My (first) doctor didn't think exercise would make a significant difference and tried to discourage me from trying! My new doctor was unaware of any evidence that exercise could help but was willing to go slow on starting multiple additional (beyond metformin) medications until I could show her what I could do. I never had to start those other medications. Swimming and low carb have been the keys for me.
    Interesting. My father in law is diabetic and the biggest thing his doctor hassles him about is getting more exercise.

    I assumed the anecdote about Scott's Dr. meant Scott was his only patient with the fortitude to change his life and start working out. I'll ask Scott for clarification on that this week.

    FYI he's down to 2:45 in the 200 Free and almost broke 30 in the 50 this spring.

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    Very Active Member geochuck's Avatar
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    Re: Swimming and diabetes

    I am now back to a monthly average reading of 8.4 The Doc said get it down to the 6s. She said get back in the pool and swim and do more walking and watch my diet. Weight unchanged at 245lbs. The doc did not change my medication.
    Last edited by geochuck; June 11th, 2012 at 10:25 PM.
    Keep it simple George Park
    New swimsuit styles http://www.swimdownhill.com

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    Re: Swimming and diabetes

    Quote Originally Posted by geochuck View Post
    I am now back to a monthly average reading of 8.4 The Doc said get it down to the 6s. She said get back in the pool and swim and do more walking and watch my diet. Weight unchanged at 245lbs. The doc did not change my medication.
    Welll, the good news is you didn't gain weight, right? I know it's possible to get the HgA1c down, even into the 5's. What are you planning to do re diet and exercise? And good luck!

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    Very Active Member geochuck's Avatar
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    Re: Swimming and diabetes

    I have a meet to go to this weekend in Merritt BC, not to swim in. I am setting up a sales stand. I get back on Monday and buying my membership for the gym and pool. $33.00 a month. My wife and I are intent on getting in shape. The only thing that I have to do are weekend sales stands at swim meets til the 3rd weekend in August.

    I will follow my diabetic diet given to me through our local health authority.
    Keep it simple George Park
    New swimsuit styles http://www.swimdownhill.com

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    Re: Swimming and diabetes

    He's a type 1, but diabetes and swimming made me immediately think of Gary Hall. Jr.

    http://www.diabeteshealth.com/read/2...gary-hall-jr-/

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    Re: Swimming and diabetes

    Quote Originally Posted by SealGirl View Post
    I've been reading the forums for awhile now and thought it would be useful to have a thread where people can talk about their experiences of swimming with diabetes.

    I was diagnosed with Type II last summer and started Metformin. I've had conflicting advice about diet and have found that what works best for me is low carb. I had been swimming about 1500 meters three or four times a week prior to diagnosis. As I have increased my yardage to 5000 meters five or six times a week, my blood sugar has been easier to manage (down from 196 to 105) without hypoglycemia. I am still learning about supplements.

    I am very interested in other people's experiences and that you have found helpful. Thanks!
    - swimming works very well for me, Type II DM diagnosed in 1998, probably started in 1992 with too much work, too much stress from work, and too little fitness practice
    - medication from 1999 to 2002, lost enough weight, regained enough fitness to get off medication
    - stayed off medication until the end of 2011
    - had a VERY bad practice year in 2011 (did not even reach even 50 miles in GTD compared to 150 miles in previous 2 years)
    - way too much work and way too much stress from work
    - controlled my eating and even reduced BMI, but no exercise and so no success with DM
    - back on medications for 2012 and restarted swimming practice (with injury prevention exercises plus some cross training plus work on diet)
    - will barely make 50 miled for this year - goal is to work up to 4 practices per week, 2000 yd. more or less per practice
    - numbers are already much better: blood glucose, HbgA1c, blood pressure, serum lipids and BMI (slowest to respond)
    - can't get off medications now but should be able to get off them by next year if practice is consistent and BMI goes down (estimate need to reduce from current 31.5 down to about 28.5, even lower would be better)

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    Very Active Member aquageek's Avatar
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    Re: Swimming and diabetes

    Quote Originally Posted by SealGirl View Post
    Welll, the good news is you didn't gain weight, right? I know it's possible to get the HgA1c down, even into the 5's. What are you planning to do re diet and exercise? And good luck!
    I think it is important to be realistic. An A1C in the 5s would be fairly unusual. An A1C in the 6's is actually really good, according to our endo.

    I know almost nothing about Type II however. We roll Type 1 in our house.

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    Re: Swimming and diabetes

    Wow... My mother has Type II, maybe I should get her in the pool instead of walking.

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    Re: Swimming and diabetes

    Quote Originally Posted by MartyD43 View Post
    - swimming works very well for me, Type II DM diagnosed in 1998, probably started in 1992 with too much work, too much stress from work, and too little fitness practice
    - medication from 1999 to 2002, lost enough weight, regained enough fitness to get off medication
    - stayed off medication until the end of 2011
    - had a VERY bad practice year in 2011 (did not even reach even 50 miles in GTD compared to 150 miles in previous 2 years)
    - way too much work and way too much stress from work
    - controlled my eating and even reduced BMI, but no exercise and so no success with DM
    - back on medications for 2012 and restarted swimming practice (with injury prevention exercises plus some cross training plus work on diet)
    - will barely make 50 miled for this year - goal is to work up to 4 practices per week, 2000 yd. more or less per practice
    - numbers are already much better: blood glucose, HbgA1c, blood pressure, serum lipids and BMI (slowest to respond)
    - can't get off medications now but should be able to get off them by next year if practice is consistent and BMI goes down (estimate need to reduce from current 31.5 down to about 28.5, even lower would be better)
    Congratulations on resuming your workouts. I find my fasting sugar is best if I work out 4-5 times per week, but I'm more often at 4 than 5. What injury prevention exercises are you doing?

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    Re: Swimming and diabetes

    Quote Originally Posted by aquageek View Post
    I think it is important to be realistic. An A1C in the 5s would be fairly unusual. An A1C in the 6's is actually really good, according to our endo.

    I know almost nothing about Type II however. We roll Type 1 in our house.
    It may be easier for me as a Type II to lower my glycated hemoglobin. I dropped from 5.9 to 5.3 by doing my best to keep the glycemic load as low as possible. Since JoeBob referred me to it, I have been following the Blood Sugar Solution lifestyle plan, meaning I eat lean protein, LOTS of non-starchy vegetables, and a small amount of fruit. Best of luck to you!

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