Narrowed and hardened arteries-atherosclerosis-are a common risk associated with type 1 diabetes. Fat, cholesterol, and other substances build up to create plaque, which narrows the arteries and makes blood flow more difficult. The increased risk of blood clots often leads to heart attacks and strokes.
Having type 1 diabetes causes me to worry excessively about getting sick. Admittedly I sometimes go overboard in my attempt to avoid these seasonal germs. I find myself avoiding people showing symptoms as though they are infected with the plague, skipping goodies in the staff kitchen at work, and dodging shared office equipment with potential sickies.
My diabetes and I have traveled a lot of miles together in nineteen years. Racing Ironman triathlons in Australia, Europe, the Carribean and all over North America, climbing and camping at the top of 14,000 foot Mt. Whitney, and of course dozens of family vacations and business trips. Packing equipment and supplies for an Ironman triathlon and 3 weeks in Australia requires a bit of planning and preparation, but when you have diabetes you feel like you do that for just a weekend out of town. Meters, strips, insulin, syringes, infusion sets, pump supplies, snacks . . . a simple weekend trip becomes a lunar expedition.
No less an authority than the New York Times wrote in May 2006 that Halle Berry has type 1 diabetes, listing her as one of several "stars who have type 1 - Gary Hall, the Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer; Adam Morrison, the Gonzaga University basketball star; [and] Halle Berry."
Jay Hewitt is 41 years old and has lived with type 1 diabetes since 1991. He is an elite Ironman triathlete (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, 26.2 mile run) and three-time member of the U.S. National Team for Long Course Triathlon. He is a lawyer, the father of a 16-month-old daughter, and a motivational speaker. He speaks to people with diabetes and others all over the world on fitness, nutrition, and achieving goals in life and business. Jay is also captain of Team Joslin at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, MA. Visit Jay's website at www.jayhewitt.com.
I would exercise if I had more time... if I had a health club membership... if it didn't hurt so much... if I knew what exercises to do... if I could do it with my family... if I could control my blood sugar...
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