My 10 year old son was recently diagnosed with T1D and we’re looking for any advice from parents who have children who play hockey with T1D. The season is about to start and we’re trying to determine how to handle the carb intake before and after practice/games and a bench time routine while not on a shift. I understand it’s different for each child, but ideas are welcomed. He does have a Dexcom G6 so we will be relying on this during ice time to make decisions.
@Buffalotypeone Hi John
I don’t have a child with T1 and my son hasn’t discovered hockey yet, but with ANY sport, it is important to realize that the increased activity can lower blood sugar. To keep blood sugar normal during events, it is important to reduce basal (for pumpers) or to reduce the long acting insulin shot (fopr MDI) before an event. It is also important to test more and the Dex G6 should be helpful, but please be aware that CGM still lags reality and the reading on the receiver may be up to 30 minutes behind what his real blood sugar is, for activity that means it is possible that his actual blood sugar may be lower than .what you see on the receiver.
for sports, you need trial-and-error so my advice is take good notes, err on the side of too little insulin and too many carbs. Maybe the first practice and game he could have a bit of long lasting (slower absorbing) carbs such as a medium fatty snack… granola, PB and crackers, my favorite “long acting” carb is pasta. or pizza - the fats delay absorption and can keep blood sugar up for hours. He should develop a signal to coach so he can be rotated out for a fast carb if needed, for fast acting carbs, skittles or straight glucose tabs work the fastest for me.
If you have access, consult a CDE with some sports background. good luck, and I hope he ahs a great time on the team!
My 12 year old son was diagnosed at the end of April and the first question was “can I still play hockey?” We got him back on the ice as soon as possible. We have him prick his finger before going on the ice and make sure he is close to 150. We use mini cliff bars, Gatorade chews or fruit snacks to get his numbers up if needed. We compare the Dexcom number, then I use the Dexcom to monitor his numbers. If he has dryland he takes his little backpack with supplies for lows and his meter. His coaches are very supportive and check in with him too. He is still in the honeymoon so so far he hasn’t had any lows while playing hockey. If he has a two hour practice we check before and again in the middle of practice. There are two other boys with T1 at our club and those parents have helped me a ton. Also we went to Dskate in Canada over the summer. My son loved the camp and he learned so much from the other T1 athletes and he had so much fun. It really showed him he can continue playing hockey at a competitive level. The camp was so well run with almost as many staff members as athletes. Also there were two full days of classes for the parents to attend. I learned more there then I had learned after initial diagnosis. The focus is exercise with T1 and most of the speakers either have T1 or have children with it. Doctors, nurses, psychologists, nutritionalists and successful athletes speak to the parents. Also the athletes have 3 1/2 hours of ice hockey, 1 hour MMA and 1 hour of diabetes education each day. It was amazing to see these T1 athletes share their love for ice hockey while managing their T1 on and off the ice.