Sportsman living with Type 1 diabetes
Three years ago, Adam Kavanagh, 24, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. He had no idea that his symptoms were that of diabetes. However, diabetes did not stop him from being one of the top Irish 200m sprinters.
Q: Have you had any symptoms of type 1 diabetes before getting diagnosed?
At first, I thought it was a kidney infection. I was working in the United States and I remember that I was drinking a lot of water. As a result, I was visiting the toilet very frequently. When I arrived at Dublin airport, my parents said that I lost weight. I remember I was weak, but I didn’t connect the dots yet – just went straight to a music festival and started a new job.
The first six months were tough – I had to embed myself in a new routine – insulin, blood checks and diet.
Q: As a busy 21 year old, it must have been a tough beginning at a new job?
Yes, I had to take a day off first week and see my GP. My doctor checked my urine and that’s how I found out I have type 1 diabetes – there was a lot of glucose in it. The first six months were tough – I had to embed myself in a new routine – insulin, blood checks and diet. It took me a year to get used to this new routine.
Q. You are a sports person. You play football and you compete at a high level as a 200m sprinter. How diabetes diagnosis affected your sports life?
I took it easy – I took a break from competitive sport for nine months, but then I got back on track and I am still improving. I am an Irish 200m sprinter currently ranked in the top 25 in the country.
I am already a member and contributor to the Diabetes Football Community in the UK, I play for UCD & the Irish Diabetic Futsal team. I am hoping to enhance the sports and diabetes topic in Ireland. It is a great empowerment and motivation to effectively control your diabetes, so you can compete at the highest levels. Diabetes does not have to stop your passion!