Don’t let diabetes stop your sailing adventures

A recent survey indicated that over 1.5 million people were affected by Diabetes in the year 2019 alone. Diabetes is a metabolic disease that causes high blood sugar. Sailing is often not recommended on the grounds of health for people with diabetes. Pushing the boat through the gushing waves, steering it away from dangers and finally arriving at your dock is a true test of seamanship. But, between planning your sailing trip, researching your routes and making the necessary reservations, don’t let your health hold you back from sailing. With a little better understanding and preparation, you will have no reason to sacrifice your health for an adventure.

Understanding Diabetes

It is a disorder that occurs when your blood sugar levels in the body stay above normal levels. It is usually caused due to your body’s inability to make insulin or not responding to the effect of insulin. If it remained untreated, it has the power to damage your nerves, eyes, kidneys, and organs. There are different types of diabetes – Type I and Type II diabetes, Prediabetes, and Gestational diabetes. If you are diagnosed with Type I diabetes, it’s imperative to inject regularly with insulin and monitor your blood sugar level.

  • Pre-Diabetes: Also known as impaired glucose tolerance, is always present before a person develops type 2 diabetes. If you identify pre-diabetes early, the chances are that you can lower your risk of complications that are associated with this condition.
  • Type 1 Diabetes: This type of diabetes occurs because the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas are destroyed by the immune system. People diagnosed with Type I require regular insulin injection to control their blood sugar levels.
  • Type 2 Diabetes: With this type of diabetes, your body continues to produce insulin, but not enough. Blindness, non-traumatic amputations, and chronic kidney failure are some of the future health complications that it can cause if it remains untreated.
  • Gestational Diabetes: This is usually found in pregnant women that can affect insulin’s ability to work properly.

Some of the common symptoms of diabetes include increased thirst and hunger, frequent urination, fatigue and so on. Being stuck in the middle of the ocean with diabetes does not sound like an adventure, but you can always be prepared for emergencies. Let’s evaluate how to manage diabetes while sailing.

How to manage diabetes while sailing?

Managing diabetes while sailing is a bigger responsibility. The first and foremost step is to have awareness about the disorder. Sailing is a true test of both stamina and endurance, and so those who are diagnosed with diabetes require high energy to survive on board despite having diabetes. Here are some ways to get yourself prepared for your next sailing adventure. Always stay focused and be diligent towards taking care of the condition through the adventure. You must understand that your health and safety must be kept a step ahead of enjoying the adventure. If you are definite and have a strong drive towards getting to the ultimate destination through sailing, you need to take good care of your health. One of the biggest challenges of sailing with diabetes is not having access to a pharmacy or a clinic on the go. It may be a battle with insurance companies to override your prescriptions and stock up on medication, but it is essential preparation for your sailing adventure.

  • Always carry and stock up on sugar candy, a small bottle of juice, soda or an energy gel with you. This comes in handy when your blood sugar levels drop to a low and you need to test. Make it a rule to not get on board sailing without having sugar handy.
  • Have a Glucagon kit on your boat and get trained to use them. It helps raise blood sugar levels in a diabetic.
  • Watch out for the symptoms and know when to get medical attention. Don’t even right seasickness, it may also be a symptom of diabetes.
  • Be prepared with more medical and medicinal supplies that you estimate than what is required. It must be stored at a place that is not compromised by the wet marine environment. Whether it is using dehumidifier packets or dry bags, find a way to keep your insulin cool.
  • You might be a fully competent diabetic, but train your fellow sailors on what to look for in case of any emergencies. Be honest and candid about your diabetes with your fellow crewmates.

Apart from all of the above pointers, don’t forget to take good care of your diet plan, estimate carbs and calories before your meals. Don’t drain your glucose levels, be prepared to test your blood sugar more often during your sailing trip. So, be consistent with the monitoring and following a strict diet and meal schedule, this will also help prevent any diabetic emergency.

How does sailing positively impact your diabetic disorder?

You don’t have to justify your days spent on the water, even if you are diabetic. From the negative ions in the air to the potassium in the water, there are tons of physical and mental health benefits of being in the sea. Whether you are diabetic or not, sailing is for everyone who loves a fun adventure to break away from your daily routine, here are some interesting health benefits that you must be aware of:

  • Staying fit is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Sailing builds your muscle strength and endurance. Builds strength around your shoulders and back as well as cardiovascular fitness.

  • Your physical fitness is based on your mental wellness. Sailing helps you relax and sets you free with the calmness of water surrounding you.

  • Pulling lines or hosting sails can help improve your agility and flexibility as well as improve your skills to focus and concentrate.

  • Sailing brings a certain discipline in your lifestyle, which is imperative to have, especially if you are diabetic.

  • The sound of water as you are sailing has the power to reduce anxiety and positively impact your mood. You’ll need to relax and get rid of anxiety attacks, especially if you are diabetic to be able to survive onboard. Sailing has the power to enable you with just that.

Over the years, you tend to grow mentally and physically strong to be able to manage to be diabetic. There are many voyagers out there whose story and experiences will leave you inspired to start your own. Dealing with diabetes is an everyday challenge, it can be a daunting one, but you learn to live with it. So, don’t let diabetes stop you from enjoying what you love. Be a good sailor and prepare yourself with extra supplies for your next voyage.

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