From a life insurance standpoint, diet and exercise control of diabetes, if well controlled, would certainly earn the best possible rates that someone with diabetes could expect. But what happens if someone has diabetes and also happens to be an athlete? And not just an athlete, but an extreme athlete!
One thing immediately came to mind when I was pondering the situation. One of the red flags underwriters look for in the labs of anyone with diabetes is whether they are spilling any protein in the urine. Protein, or blood, in the urine is also, unfortunately, a common occurrence with athletes who push the boundaries of endurance. Marathon runners and bike racers come to mind. When they train and race they are straining every part of their system for 2 to 4 hours or more.
The New York Times had a great article a few days ago on the subject of diabetes and extreme athletes. It really hit home on the subject of how diabetes can impact lifestyle.
A client of mine was rated due to protein in his urine several years ago. He was 68 at the time. He was also a distance trail runner. He would run about 7 miles daily up a mountain near where we live, unless he was training for a specific race, then he upped the mileage to about 10 a day. He was training for a race when he did the exam. Anyway, he came back positive for protein and the insurance company allowed us to do a retest. It was his good fortune that he had the flu during the retest and came back negative for protein because he hadn’t been able to run for several days.
Bottom line. I think everyone would agree that exercise is a good thing and be assured that life insurance underwriters would much rather see that someone is taking care of themselves than not.
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