Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - 54

54

CHAPTER 3

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Medical Conditions

blood sugar. It is unlikely that a small amount of sugar will cause increased harm to
an athlete with high blood sugar, and it will certainly help a person with low blood
sugar-it may even save the athlete's life. You can read the position statement of the
National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) "Management of the Athlete with
Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus" at the NATA website (http://www.nata.org).
Follow-up Treatment: Make sure the physician's orders are followed.
Prevention: Diabetics must adhere to daily diet, exercise, and medicinal regimens
and regular blood glucose testing. Diabetics are often advised to eat a carbohydrate
snack about 30 minutes prior to activity to help control blood sugar levels. Also
note that many things-such as, stress, illness, and time of day, along with diet and
exercise-can change the levels of blood sugar.

Hypoglycemia and Insulin Shock
If an athlete has diabetes mellitus, participation in intense exercise will burn energy
and deplete the blood sugar level. If this is not anticipated correctly, the athlete could
easily experience hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Likewise, if too much insulin is
produced or taken into the body, the excess insulin will cause the level of blood sugar
to fall below normal.

insulin shock
Shock caused by an
overdose of insulin.

Symptoms: Hypoglycemia generally has a sudden onset of symptoms that may
include hunger, racing heartbeat, sweating, shaking, inability to think clearly, headache, physical weakness, loss of motor coordination, irritability, and drowsiness and
that can lead to anxiety.
If left untreated, hypoglycemia can lead to insulin shock, where the signs and
symptoms the patients may complain about are tingling in the hands, mouth, and
other part of the body, and convulsions that can lead to coma and death. The symptoms of insulin shock include weakness, moist and pale skin, a rapid bounding pulse,
normal to shallow breathing, and unconsciousness. Because insulin shock is a lifethreatening condition, hypoglycemia requires immediate treatment.
Immediate Treatment: Hypoglycemic athletes should consume sugar at the onset
of symptoms. Make sure the food being consumed contains true sugar, not a substitute like those found in diet sodas. Most insulin-dependent diabetics carry some
type of sugar with them at all times as a precaution. Candy or orange juice should
be readily available in the event a reaction occurs. If symptoms do not resolve within
10 minutes of consuming sugar or if the symptoms become worse, contact EMS.
Follow-up Treatment: If the athlete is sent to a physician, make sure the physician's orders are followed.

asthma
A lung disorder that
causes breathing
difficulty, wheezing,
and coughing, and
that can lead to
airway obstruction.

Prevention: The diabetic athlete should eat a carefully planned diet that includes
snacks before exercise. Suggest that such athletes eat a carbohydrate snack, such as
cheese and crackers, about 30 minutes prior to activity to help maintain proper blood
sugar levels.

Asthma
Asthma is a disease marked by recurring temporary constriction of the bronchi and

bronchioles in the lungs. People who suffer from this disease have lungs that are


http://www.nata.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e

Contents
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - Cover1
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - Cover2
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - A
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - B
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - i
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - ii
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - iii
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - iv
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - Contents
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - vi
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - vii
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - viii
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - ix
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - x
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - xi
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Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - xviii
Sports Medicine Essentials, 3e - xix
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