The Lancet Interview - Where Does British Sport Stand on Diabetes Support?

A couple of days ago I got an invitation to do an interview with a medical journal called The Lancet. For those who may not have come across it before, The Lancet is the world's leading general medical journal. It also features more specialist journal subjects on areas such as oncology and neurology. I'd heard of The Lancet before throughout the time that I've had diabetes, so was very excited to do the interview with writer Talha Burki.

The interview was to be conducted over the phone so I caught up with Talha yesterday. He told me a little about the questions he planned to ask and the theme of the interview. Burki was conducting research for an article on sport and diabetes management, obviously a topic close to my heart! I was thrilled to hear that such a prestigious publication wanted to put the medical spotlight onto diabetes and the effects that sport can have on it.

The interview questions began with Talha asking about my sporting background. We spoke about the familiar territory of what came first, the diabetes or the sport? I've always been sporty but athletics was when I found my calling and I didn't take the activity up, until the age of 16. When I was nearly 17 in fact and from there it took me a year or so to get to know the ins and outs of the sport and adapt training. The interview questions then progressed along the path of whether it takes more to manage diabetes and do sport in comparison to my competitors and whether the diabetes gets in the way of training and competing for athletics. To this I had to answer honestly that I didn't know life before with athletics and no diabetes, but I am aware that there is more planning and preparation involved compared to my competitors. But on balance not many athletes would be able to tell you how their blood sugars are behaving or how many carbohydrates they'd consumed at any given time.

We then moved onto the more serious side of sport and diabetes and questions concerning whether there was enough support available. For me I had to admit that on balance there is not enough support in an official capacity from my governing body, for example. I've never been approached with the offer of any kind of help that's diabetes related. However, many of my coaches- especially my current coach have made great efforts to take my diabetes into consideration with my training. I voiced my opinion here that I think diabetes knowledge and education needs to begin with the official sporting governing bodies. I also referenced the fact that whilst I was at the European Summit for Chronic Diseases recently, many countries collectively expressed a wish that sport play a massive role in diabetes management in the future. In prevention and a tool in controlling the condition for the broader community.

I don't have a date for when the feature will go into the Lancet, but will keep you updated on here!


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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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