You’ve just been diagnosed with diabetes do you have to throw away your certification card?
In recent years many diabetics have hid their disease and dive masters have looked the other way. Diving is like any other sport and you must be physically capable of diving. A recent study by Duke University found no difference from diving and other demanding activities like marathons and piloting planes.
In order to dive again you first must asses your physical and mental well being.
Your diabetes must be in control in order for you to dive. Being in control means you know your limitations and can keep tabs of your blood sugar. You can successfully dive if after three months of oral hypoglycemic agents and/or one year after starting insulin therapy and are stable.
Common sense is needed, just like any other sports. If you follow a few simple rules you can find diving both safe and fun again.
1. Always dive with a buddy and inform them of your condition.
2. Check your blood sugar 60, 30 and ten minutes prior to a dive.
3. You should only dive when blood sugar is 150 or 8.3 mmol.L if below then don’t dive.
4. Cancel the dive if your blood sugar is 300 or above.
5. Make sure to carry glucose tablets with you at all times. Divers prefer Inst-Glucose because it is in waterproof packaging.
6. The sign for low blood sugar is an “L” with your thumb and index finger.
7. Always be aware of your surroundings and a dive buddy should be close at hand.
If you follow these steps diving can again be fun and your diabetes won’t limit you.