Regular exercise is important in maintaining both physical
and mental health for children and young people (CYP) with
type 1 diabetes (T1DM) – but the great challenge is avoiding
potentially disabling hypos, while avoiding highs which can
adversely affect performance. To support young sportspeople
in the area, Oxford Children's Hospital's specialist Diabetes Sports Clinics are now held twice a year. There
has been a 73% reduction in hypos and information is provided on exercise and physiology, diet and food
choices and managing insulin doses. Each patient gets a personalised care summary and the team has recently
held its first Family Sports Management education session. On user evaluation 93% of families 'strongly
agreed' or 'agreed' that they were able to make improvements to their child's care using information from
the clinic while 100% were 'very likely' or 'likely' to recommend the clinic to family or friends with T1DM.
There is growing recognition of the importance of sports and exercise in CYP with T1DM. Regular exercise helps
maintain a healthy cardiovascular system and results in increased insulin sensitivity. The Oxfordshire Paediatric
Diabetes Service recognised that there are significant numbers of CYP who are 'elite sportspersons' – performing
at competitive levels, or at regional or national level. They train for many hours, and compete regularly, but a
number were struggling with hypoglycaemia and this was affecting their confidence in taking part in sport.
To establish a supportive environment to nurture the CYPs enthusiasm for sport, helping them become more
independent and confident in managing the challenges of sport and diabetes. Establishing an MDT clinic
specifically to focus on management of diabetes in those CYP who are competitive sportspeople. To reduce
overall occurrence of hypos and aim for an improved/stable HbA1c so that sports performance is optimised.
Back to the top