Extreme Sports and Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus in the Twenty-First Century: The Promise of Technology

  • Karen M. TordjmanEmail author
  • Anthony C. Hackney
Part of the Contemporary Endocrinology book series (COE)


Currently approximately 415 million adults are affected with diabetes worldwide, approximately 10% those have type 1 diabetes (T1DM) and rely on insulin for maintaining their health. Once thought unimaginable, a growing number of these individuals are now engaging in extreme sports events. This chapter reviews the very special challenge on glucose metabolism and counter-regulation posed by such activities in T1DM. It presents the available scientific evidence supporting the notion they are compatible with this condition, including the recent technological progresses that are contributing to making intense sports activity safer for individuals with diabetes. At the same time, the areas where data are lacking are underscored. The even more unlikely situation of type 2 diabetes and extreme sports is also addressed, emphasizing the void of scientific evidence in this arena. Studies are needed to fill in the information gap and to provide the scientific grounds for professional guidance of diabetic individuals. Newer guidelines and protocols that incorporate emerging technologies, reviewed herein, are awaited.


Diabetes Extreme sports Glucose metabolism Hypoglycemia Counter-regulation Continuous glucose monitoring Insulin pump Closed-loop Marathon Mountaineering Diving 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Institute of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Hypertension, the Sackler Faculty of MedicineTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael
  2. 2.Department of Exercise & Sport Science, Department of NutritionUniversity of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA

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