I have been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. Am I still able to Scuba Dive and are there any cautions for me?
Many people with type 2 diabetes can scuba dive perfectly safely. Much depends on the medicines you are taking to control your blood sugar. Insulin and some tablets – including two groups of medicines called the sulphonylureas and the glinides, can cause low blood sugar or ‘hypos’. Unaccustomed exercise increases this risk. Low blood sugar can cause poor concentration, confusion or even loss of consciousness, so it’s clearly essential to avoid any risk of a hypoglycaemic episode if you’re diving. Blood sugar can also rise dangerously high in people with diabetes, but this is much more common in people with type 1 diabetes than type 2 and tends to come on more slowly. That makes ‘hypos’ the main concern for people with type 2 diabetes who are hoping to dive.
The British Sub-Aqua Club has strict guidelines including an annual medical examination if you have type 2 diabetes. If you pass this medical, which will include a check to make sure you don’t have any complications of diabetes, you may be allowed to dive if you have a trained ‘diving buddy’. You can find out all the details of how to apply at: www.bsac.com