Presenting At The Wales Diabetes And Exercise Conference

Attending and presenting at the Wales Diabetes and Exercise Conference today, was like getting something that I've had on my Christmas list for the dozen years that I've done athletics! It was so thrilling to be in a room full of people with diabetes and experts, all interested in sport and physical activity. The event was held at Swansea Bay campus of Swansea University, in a lecture theatre, and was an enjoyable venue from which to present.


Part of the great welcome pack

The event was put on by Diabetes UK Cymru (DUK) and the Diabetes Research Unit (DRU), so after an opening address from DUK Director Dai and Professor Steve Bain, I was up first to speak! The aim of my presentation was to show that diabetes and sport can go hand in hand, even at the level of elite sport. I explained about the similarities between the two and the way in which their linked from personality characteristics to psychology. Andrew Owen, who has/had type 2 diabetes was up next, discussing his journey from T2 diagnosis, to weight loss and potentially reversing the condition. There was then a presentation from medical student Beth Hanson, who spoke about the role of nutrition on type 2 diabetes and the importance of knowledge in making informed food choices. Finally before morning break, Rob Sage from Public Health Wales spoke about access to physical activity for all in Wales.

Food Pyramid for Athletes - Beth Hanson

Up next after the break we were able to divide into two groups, depending on our interests in type 1 or type 2 diabetes. I went to the type 1 presentations, which started with Dan West. This was a particularly interesting talk because Dr Dan spoke about glucose control and hypo avoidance in aerobic exercise. He spoke about research he had conducted on reducing background insulin by eating before training, to reduce insulin on board prior to exercise. The study participants then did 45 minutes of cardio and reduced their bolus insulin in relation to carbohydrates consumed post exercise. From which the study showed a vast reduction in hypos. Half marathon runner Paul Coker then spoke about his life experiences of long distance running and balancing diabetes.


Dr Jane Yardley - Explaining the Effect of Time on Sport and Diabetes

We then listened to Mike, the new Type 1 Lead from Diabetes UK Cymru give a parents perspective of sport and diabetes with their child. Richard Bracken spoke about games and diabetes, followed by an equally fascinating presentation from Dr Jane Yardley from Canada. There were two things Dr Jane said that particularly resonated with me, the first was a grid explaining the demands and effects of different intensities of strength training and the second was the variability in training when training at different times of day. The afternoon was then brought to a close by Dublin Diabetes Dietitian Mary Finn, who presented a live dietary analysis of case studies of patients with diabetes, including those who do sport. This was wonderful in helping us as patients gain insight into the thought process behind a clinic appointment where nutrition and insulin are the main focus.

My Diabuddy - Professional Wrestler Charlotte

The event was a tremendous success, and was enjoyed by everyone that I spoke to. The presentations were interesting and engaging, and acted as a platform from which to learn alot on diabetes and sport. Hopefully the conference will now become an annual event, so I very much look forward to attending the next one!








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Meet The Author

My blog takes you through a daily look at sport, diabetes and everything in between. As an athlete that lives with type 1 diabetes I want to let you into news, views and all that is important to both of my passions.

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