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Ulrike Thurm - Beyond the Limits

Ulrike Thurm, shows that sports and diabetes can go together. Current president of the German section of the International Diabetic Athletes Association (IDAA), a worldwide group for sports enthusiasts with diabetes, Thurm has made it her objective to encourage self-confidence and the performance potential of people with diabetes who are active athletes.

No evidence for a diving ban

Ulrike points to underwater diving as an example of one of the more demanding sports in which people with diabetes can participate. "For years there was a blanket ban on diving for those with diabetes although there was no established evidence for this ban." However, Ulrike Thurm organized the world's first ever scientific dive course for people with diabetes in Papua New Guinea in 1995. This study and several¡ others that followed have shown that even people who need insulin injections can dive safely if the dive lessons are specially adjusted and the participants are selected carefully.

UlrikeThurm is one of those women who regularly , achieves extraordinary results through discipline and rigorous planning. The 41-year old Berlin native is a passionate athlete in her free time, and she regularly runs marathons, plays football in one of the top leagues, loves cycling over long distances, inline skates for exercise and is an active rescue diver. One could safely say that her whole ¡¡fe revolves around sport.

The fight against prejudices

Ulrike Thurm has been living with diabetes for 20 years, and she has a message: "People with diabetes are just as tough as other people - in sport as well as in their professional l¡fes. The only difference is that people with diabetes must look farther ahead and plan better." The diabetes nurse and sports instructor says she has been fighting prejudices and misunderstandings regarding diabetes for more than 15 years. A founding member.

Activate your brain

Thurm states “Athletes without diabetes, do, not have to think about how to adjust their metabolism to sport before beginning their physical activities - this happens automatically. However this automatism does not function in athletes with diabetes. They have to imitate the reactions of the non-diabetic metabolism to physical activities as much as possible to avoid hypoglycemia or a metabolism disorder during or after sports." Put it in a nutshell: "People with diabetes need to use their brains before using their muscles”.

How does Ulrike Thurm handle her own diabetes?

"I live with diabetes as if in a solid, lifelong partnership. The better I treat it, the better it treats me."


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