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Will type 1 diabetes restrict my normal activities?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Type 1 diabetes does not mean that you need to discontinue the things that you enjoy. You will need to work with a nutritionist to develop a healthy eating plan, but having diabetes does not mean restricting yourself to tasteless foods. Also, if you already have an exercise regimen, you should be able to continue it under your doctor's supervision. Keep in mind though that food and activity affect blood glucose levels. The major change in your life will be stabilizing your blood glucose on a daily basis.

This is also the case for people who have type 2 diabetes.

Stacy Wiegman, PharmD
Pharmacy Specialist

Type 1 diabetes should not restrict your normal activities. There is no cure for type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease that often begins in childhood, and it requires vigilant care. Before it's diagnosed, blood sugar levels can rise to extremely high levels, causing severe symptoms that in some cases require hospitalization.

After type 1 diabetes is diagnosed, you may need a weekly checkup to make sure you are controlling your blood sugar levels well. After that, you may have regular checkups much less frequently. Type 1 diabetes requires insulin, so you need to learn how to measure blood glucose (blood sugar), how to take insulin and how to adjust insulin based on daily activities such as eating and exercising. But once you've figured that out, you can do all your normal activities, including sports, travel, school and work.

Dr. Matthew J. Freeby, MD
Endocrinologist

There should be no restriction of activities of any person living with type 1 diabetes. People with type 1 diabetes can race cars, fly airplanes, run marathons and bike long distances. Although type 1 diabetes requires planning and knowledge for safety, most anything can be achieved with it.

Gary Scheiner
Endocrinologist

Type 1 diabetes should not restrict your normal activities, but you must learn how to balance insulin doses against food, activity and stress/emotions. There are only a few unique situations in which people with type 1 diabetes are legally barred—such as piloting a commercial aircraft. Otherwise, the sky really is the limit!

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.