York University Professor Michael Riddell in the School of Kinesiology & Health Science, Faculty of Health, is working hard to reverse the natural tendency of parents of children with juvenile diabetes to keep their youngsters on the sidelines, wrote the North York Mirror July 18:
He understands their fears. Participating in sports can lower the blood sugar levels of people with Type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes. But Riddell said exercise is important for people with Type 1 diabetes. Studies indicate keeping active can add as much as 10 years to their lives and reduce the chance of complications of diabetes.
“We know exercise is critical. We just have to make sure they can do it safely,” said Riddell, a world renowned diabetes and exercise physiologist and professor in York’s Faculty of Health.
Riddell, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 14 and regularly engages in competitive sports, runs an elite summer sports camp at the university. About a third to half of the campers have Type 1 diabetes and the camp teaches them how exercise can be used to better manage their disease.
On the eve of this year’s camp, which began Monday, July 19, Riddell’s team of researchers published a study in the International Journal of Pediatrics looking at the interaction of sports and blood sugar levels.
For the study, which Riddell said is the first in the world to examine these interactions in a real-life setting, last year’s campers were outfitted with round-the-clock glucose monitors both while they played tennis, basketball and soccer at camp, and during their time at home, including while they slept.
The study is also important for high-performance athletes without diabetes who can see their blood sugar levels plummet during extreme sports, he added.
The complete article is available on InsideToronto.com. Riddell's research is funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Medtronic Canada and Can-Am Care.
Posted by Elizabeth Monier-Williams, research communications officer, with files courtesy of YFile– York University’s daily e-bulletin.