Here’s an inspirational story to kick off 2014 – check out this amazing group of people with type 1 diabetes who conquered Kilimanjaro.   They have put together a fantastic documentary that describes their journey and some of the challenges they encountered along the way.

When climbing with diabetes, some important things to consider include:

  • several factors that play into blood sugar control and the impact on need for diabetes medications and insulin.  This includes the high daily calorie burn which may DECREASE diabetes med or insulin requirements, but also includes the increase in hormones like adrenaline and cortisol that may increase blood sugar and could therefore INCREASE medication/insulin requirements (and this balance can vary from moment to moment, hour to hour, day to day)
  • keeping insulin, meter, and meter batteries from freezing
  • acclimatizing well and staying well hydrated
  • preventing and treating altitude sickness
  • preventing and treating gastroenteritis – ie viral or bacterial travellers’ diarrhea (particularly if climbing in developing countries – the Kili team struggled with this)
If you are a diabetic and considering a climb, be sure to contact your doctor, your diabetes educator, and a travel clinic with a doctor that has experience in counseling and preparing diabetic climbers.   It is also best if the climbing team includes health care professionals with experience in supporting diabetic climbers.
A heartfelt congratulations for the Type 1 Diabetes Kilimanjaro Expedition!


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