This week I have the amazing Jack Iredale featuring and answering some questions on how he manages living with diabetes while playing professional football!
Jack has played with Cambridge United and been promoted to League One, all while managing type 1 diabetes and truly showing anything is possible with type 1!
Keep reading to find out about Jack’s incredible story, and how he manages diabetes around working in the sports industry!
When were you diagnosed with type 1 diabetes?
I was diagnosed just before Christmas in 2009 when I was 13.
People living with diabetes often struggle when people ask difficult questions surrounding diabetes. Have you ever come across this, and how would you tackle this situation?
The most common question I get asked from people who don’t know much about diabetes, is if I can eat chocolate! But they soon understand when I explain that Type 1’s can eat chocolate after checking sugar levels and a small injection!
What advice would you give to people living with T1D who want to pursue a career in the sports industry?
My best advice is to never think living with Type 1 diabetes will hold you back, because it won’t. If you are confident in your control and are switched on with everything, there is absolutely no reason for type 1 to get in the way of achieving in your sport.
How do you keep yourself calm during a hyper or hypo, and what snacks/hypo treatments would you recommend to sporty T1D’s?
Over correcting a hypo is very easily done! But when you have had diabetes long enough you will know what you need to fix it. Knowing this gives me comfort that I’ll be feeling back to normal ASAP. I always carry Lucosade sport with me, I keep it pitch-side for training, and give it to the Physio on game day in case I ever need it. This works really well for me as I can have a quick drink and get back to football ASAP!
What does your match day routine consist of in terms of monitoring and maintaining your sugar levels?
On match day I am constantly checking my levels. I’d say a minimal of 10 times on match day just leading up to kickoff. The FreeStyle Libre has been amazing for that!
I’ll do my best to have my final meal no later than 3 hours before kickoff to give plenty of time for my sugars to react to the food and insulin.
I’ll also aim to have my sugars somewhere between 6-8mmol. Any lower I’ll run the risk of a hypo and any higher will have me fatiguing quicker than I would normally.
Finally, for any T1D’s who are considering getting a CGM/FGM, would you recommend using the Freestyle Libre?
I would absolutely recommend using a FreeStyle Libre. It has been incredible for me and I love how convenient it is. Especially using the FreeStyle Libre app on my iPhone, which allows me to check my sugar levels instantly, no matter where I am.
I wanted to finish with a huge thank you to Jack Iredale! Thanks for sharing some insight into living with type 1 and most importantly inspiring those living with type 1. Anything is possible when you put your mind to it and work hard! If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me!