Googling diabetes and sports injuries doesn’t make for a very happy read. See, diabetics are prone to a host of nasties. Elevated sugar levels can impede muscle function apparently, raising the risk of overuse injuries; then, among an assortment of other potential ills, there’s something called joint glycation, which can cause the joints to become rigid and immovable (sounds familiar).
But what about a massive pain in the arse?
There’s no doubt that diabetes is just that – a massive pain in the arse – but on Sunday a twinge in my left glute got me thinking. Forced to cancel my run, I remembered that a couple of times in recent weeks I’ve ran with elevated sugar levels (around 12mmol/l or 216mg/dl). High blood sugar levels make me feel sluggish, perhaps because high sugar levels impede muscle function.
Now, diabetes doesn’t explain the glute twinge. It was probably the result of pushing it too hard last week or doing too many squats (I’ve scaled these back now), but I do wonder if higher blood sugar levels makes one more prone to muscle strains. I’m no expert*, but it seems to make sense: high sugar levels impede muscle function; inefficient muscles are at a greater risk of injury.
Of course keeping sugar levels on an even keel will be crucial as I progress towards the Marathon des Sables 2018. But improving muscle strength and flexibility will surely be vital if I am to avoid injury too. Repeated glute stretches (particularly yoga’s pigeon pose) have remedied my bad buttock, thankfully, and I’m back running again.
In the hope it will keep me running, I’ve joined a yoga group. Will let you know how it’s going in a while…
*Disclaimer: I have no medical training. I am not a doctor, a nutritionist, a physio or a sports therapist; I doubt they’d even give me job handing out oranges at half time of a football match. I am just a type-one diabetic and former fat bloke with a stupid idea. This blog is my account of following that idea to its conclusion. Do not attempt anything similar without seeking prior medical (and psychiatric) advice.