Healthy Living: Pro cyclists push past Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is a condition that impacts many kids under the age of 14 and is increasing by three percent each year. Marcie Fraser shares the story of two pro cyclists who are finding ways to push past the challenges.
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Type 1 diabetes is a condition that impacts many kids under the age of 14 and is increasing by three percent each year.
Not only do Alex Bowden and Joe Eldridge have Type 1 diabetes in common, they also share the love for racing. Both are pro cyclists. Their team is called Team Type 1 Sanofi. It is made up of 23 other cyclists, all of whom have diabetes. They travel all over the world racing and spreading the word by example, saying that diabetes doesn't have to slow you down.
"We all know what the diagnosis was like. We all know what the challenges are. We all know how much focus it takes and being able to point out to people who are having a rough time with it, you can do it," said Alex Bowden, Team Type 1 Sanofi racer.
Type 1 diabetes is a disease in which your pancreas does not make enough insulin and your blood sugar can get dangerously high, causing severe symptoms like drowsiness and changes in vision. It can even cause unconsciousness, which on a bike can be deadly.
"If you do like to go on a long bike ride or do a really important race, you have to monitor very carefully and that is probably one of the bigger challenges, is to stay active and focus on it," said Bowden.
At any time during his rides, Alex is able to check his blood sugar. A device is placed just below his skin, and with a click, without slowing down, the results are sent to a digital monitor. If he needs more sugar, he drinks Gatorade or ingests a high sugary snack.
No matter what your sport is, pros don't let it interfere with their sport. Don't let it interfere with yours.
"Diabetes is not bad at all, it's just a challenge you have to overcome, everyone has challenges, it's just one extra thing," said Joe Eldridge, Team Type 1 Sanofi racer.