Soccer Player Jordan Morris Expresses His Experience with Diabetes on the Field
Soccer is a demanding sport and a career with several challenges: Competition, fitness, coaches, as well as training and managing health. For Jordan Morris, however, his major challenge is type 1 diabetes.
Morris was diagnosed with diabetes when he was only 9 years old. He tells reporters that there aren’t many professional soccer players with diabetes. Well, so says his father. His father also claimed that Morris would have had difficulty playing soccer in college.
No matter where he is in his career, Morris knows he can’t escape diabetes. There is no cure and treatment can be demanding. Every five minutes from morning to night, Morris gets a blood-sugar update on his phone. Managing his condition isn't fun, he admits, but it does keep Morris responsible and on his toes.
But, Morris is a believer. He know that he has an advantage over other major league athletes, as he knows his body and when he needs to treat it as a finely-tuned machine. Knowing his body has given him up a leg-up on his way to the Major League Soccer’s Rookie of the Year award.
The challenges diabetes brings can be difficult for anyone to overcome.
Type 1 diabetes means that the pancreas is not producing insulin. Insulin is a vital hormone that helps the body absorb sugar and other nutrients in order for it to turn into energy. Trying to keep the amount of sugar in your blood within a specific range is difficult for anyone with the disease and for an athlete, it is almost impossible.
With diabetes, you need to continually pay attention to your insulin requirements, exercise, and food intake. Exercise can lower blood sugar to a dangerous level, while food can have the opposite effect and raise your blood sugar levels.
Low blood sugar can make you feel lightheaded or blur your vision, and when it's dangerously low, it can cause a loss of consciousness. On the other hand, if you have high blood sugar, you will suffer from headaches or nausea, and it may also lead to a diabetic coma if left untreated.
When Jordan Morris was young, he was scared to death. He had many questions, but one of them was, "Can I play soccer?”
Fortunately, Morris' parents were acutely aware of his dreams and his disease. His father is the Seattle Sounders’ team doctor, and his mom is a nurse. He learned to check his blood sugar many times a day: when he eats, wakes up, goes to bed, exercises, or feels “off.” Before eating Morris needs to determine how many carbs he is going to eat just so he knows how much insulin to give himself.
Read on to learn more about Soccer Player Jordan Morris' perspective on diabetes.
Photo source: Jordan Morris by Brandon Farris