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Underwater Wakulla- August 8, 2019

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Recreational Scuba Diving with Type I and Type II Diabetes By RUSTY MILLER

Recreational Scuba Diving with Type I and Type II Diabetes

In the past most if not all recreational scuba diving certifying agencies would not allow persons with type I or type II diabetes get their open water scuba certification.

It was called a contraindicator on all medical forms that if you checked yes in the diabetes box then most if not all instructors would say scuba is not for you. Fast forward to 2019 and most agencies still will not approve you for recreational scuba diving certification until NAUI (National Association of Underwater Instructors) teamed up with DAN (Divers Alert Network) and their findings from 2005 about diving with diabetes.

DAN found that in all the participants of the study had no issues other than several had sea sickness and could not finish the study. Dan did however set up several guidelines that you as a diabetic should follow.

I am a Type II diabetic and I have been a scuba instructor for about 30 years. I have been teaching scuba diving at Wakulla Dive Center for the last few years and with NAUI the same time.

 I have been a diagnose diabetic for 22 of those 30 years as an instructor. I too was one of those instructors that would not accept the responsibility of teaching someone with diabetes. It is unknown to me or any other instructor how many people didn’t say yes to the question of diabetes on the medical form, but I am confident that there where quite a few over my career as an instructor.

If I would have known about the DAN study back in 2005, I would have followed their guidelines and been a better-informed instructor.

The NAUI / DAN guidelines cover both Type I and Type II (insulin and non-insulin dependent) persons who want to discover the fantastic world of the ocean around us.

With any contraindicators you need to have your physician give you the go ahead and your physician needs to be well informed of the potential stress that you go through when you scuba dive. That is why you should receive a physical demand of diving with your medical sign off sheet to let your physician know and understand the rigors of diving.

For the diabetics that are insulin dependent using an insulin pump it may not restrict you from diving if you do your research you should be able to find an insulin pump that will be able to let you go to the basic open water certification depth of 60 feet.

If you have any questions about Type I and or Type II diabetic diving, please call:

Wakulla Dive Center at (850)745-8208

Rusty Miller Instructor NAUI #59999