Diabetic Runners


does anybody have MODY Diabetes (Read 219 times)

    Long time runner, first time poster (within this group)....



    I was diagnosed with type II diabetes over 10 years ago (age 28).

    At the time, I weighed about 200#, had slightly elevated A1C and higher fasting blood sugars.

    I was placed on medication to lower my blood sugars.

    Immediately, I began exercising to get control of my sugars.

    Within 4 months, I had lost 20#, and was running 20+ miles per week.

    About 8 years ago (maybe 9), I was taken off medication, and with a combination of my diet and exercise, I've been in control of my diabetes.



    I come from a large family (mom has 12 siblings), and I have 40+ cousins and 100+ second cousins.... (My family genetic pool is large enough to get a feel of potential genetic challenges, and the primary challenge is diabetes).

    At a family reunion where over 100 were in attendance this summer, it was discovered that 9 of the 12 siblings have diabetes, 25 of the 40 cousins have it, as well as many of my second cousins (many of them are still young, though).  Interestingly, though, not many of them are "fat" or have every been "fat."

    At the reunion, I was told of MODY diabetes (Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young).  Apparently, that is what we have (as a family).


    Does anybody here have that?

    Does anybody know more about it as it relates to running / training?


    It appears as if the traditional measurements (A1C and fasting blood sugar level) are questionable. 


    I'm in the process of training for an Ironman, and as it's "news to me" and "new to me", I'd like to know whether any of you have heard of it, have it, or whether those that have it have had to make any radical adjustments to their monitoring, diet, and / or exercise.


    (Of course, I'll also seek my doctor's advice, but what could be better than seeking the advice of others who may actually be dealing with it themselves)



    2017 Goals:

    #1: Do what I can do (200+ training days, 200+ aerobic hours). 

    #2: Race shape (1/2 marathon, 2 half Ironmans, marathon)

    #3: Prepare for 2018

      Hello Brian,


      My hand it raised!  Sometimes called Adult Onset, Type 2 and a half, etc.   My hemoglobin tests "slightly" positive which indicates adult onset.   When initially diagnosed at age 51  (2004) my A1c was closing in on 12 and I had already developed lots of foot pain and eventually some neuropathy.    As I wasn't a frequenter of doctors' offices, he estimated that I had the disease for about 8-10 years when diagnosed. (Lesson learned.) What prompted me to seek help was the foot pain (obviously not associated with running), incredible insomnia, weight gain, and a sudden crash in my ability to run.  Months earlier I was running 10-12 miles routinely and suddenly a two-miler was a struggle.  To make matters worse, like the typical runner, I thought the crash was due to a lack of carbs so you can only guess what I was doing to myself at mealtime!.  Once diagnosed, I stopped running, switched to very long walking with a goal to keep the A1c as close to 6 as possible and to lose 20 pounds.


      Fast forward to '07.  With my A1c under control with diet and exercise, (I am still producing some insulin but have been warned of its progressive decline) I began training again with my son.  The foot pain is gone and I have regained quite a bit of sensation in my feet. Eventually we would routinely run 10-15 miles each Saturday with smaller runs in between.  you need to keep the control tight so you can effectively use the insulin you are still producing.  Just don't be alarmed if you find the control more difficult over time.  For me, insulin is down the road but running, diet and metformin each evening seem to be working.  Even though I have adult onset, treating it like type 2 is working at the moment.


      There are lots of folks in the club here and hopefully others will respond.   Things have been quiet lately.  Must be too much training going on.

      Good luck.


      Discipline is never an end in itself, only a means to an end. (RF)

        Hey Brian,


        Just wanted to say hello and welcome to you!  Nice to see another triathlete in the mix.  You are likely ahead of me on that front if you're training for an IM. I've done a handfull of sprints, a few half marathons, and about to do my first OLY this weekend.


        My diabetes experience is also a bit different, but I was diagnosed as an adult (age 27), so we at least have that in common.  My path to insulin was pretty quick...just a few months of trying all the oral meds, exercising like crazy, cutting the carbs, etc.  Weight was OK - I'm 5 ft. 3.5 and weighed 108 at diagnosis after having lost maybe 5 or 10 lbs w/out trying.  So all that + being totally insulin dependent puts me more in the T1 bucket, just a late bloomer.  The more I read stories like yours, the more I think that it is more of a continuum instead of a firm line between T1 and T2.


        What are you doing in terms of testing your blood sugar surrounding and/or during exercise?  My (decidedly non-MD) advice would be to test a lot and see what is actually happening to your blood sugar during your workouts to see if you need to tweak your fueling or consider any other options.  As I've started to stretch the distances out a bit more, I've learned I was not fueling enough, and that I need to take in carbs/electrolytes during longer workouts, even if it means more insulin.  I was kind of using the law of small numbers (less insulin, barely any carbs coming in, less risk of going high or low).  But that doesn't work too well as the distances/time on the course gets longer.  Since you aren't taking insulin at this point , I'd think as long as you are fueling well, and your BG is not going sky high during training/races, that you are in good shape.  Like all of us, you are an experiement of one Smile.


        When/what is your next event?

        Progress Trumps Pefection


          With all my life story I neglected to welcome you to the boards.  Sorry about that.  You are member number 123!


          Discipline is never an end in itself, only a means to an end. (RF)

            Thank you John & Carol!

            It's interesting that there's more than just Type I and Type II.  I've been in control for quite a number of years, and I go to the doctor regularly for my A1C.  Otherwise, I *occasionally* check my fasting blood sugar when I wake up.  If it's in line, I take a mental note, and check again a couple weeks later.  If it's not in line (very infrequently), I'll test more frequently.


            When I go for longer runs (over 10 miles) or longer bike rides (2+ hours), I consume a lot of gatorade and GU packs.  I do not check my sugar at those times (maybe I should, but I don't).  At all times (before, during, and after long activity), I feel regulated.  My internal "glucometer" does not set off any bad signals. 


            The part that led me to write on here relates to the difficulty of measuring MODY diabetes.  My cousins were chatting about it, and the challenges they have had in identifying the diabetes, measuring it, and it started to worry me (especially since I train as much as I do).  I'll certainly be speaking with my doctor about it soon.  The good news is that all of those uncles and aunts that have diabetes have lived a decent life, and have all lived into their 80s.  I'm hoping that staying healthy and doing what I do will give me the same (or better) life oppportunities that they have.



            2017 Goals:

            #1: Do what I can do (200+ training days, 200+ aerobic hours). 

            #2: Race shape (1/2 marathon, 2 half Ironmans, marathon)

            #3: Prepare for 2018