The guy who writes the 'medical solutions' page for Sports Diver had a couple of diabetes questions this month (October 2003, same issue as Bob Cooper's DIR article, Tanya Streeter on the cover). I also had a quick scan of his website www.e-med.co.uk
and there's a bit about diabetes near the top of this page: http://www.e-med.co.uk/diving/miscellaneous.html
Thanks everyone, some good advice there. Found some particularly useful stuff on the scuba-doc.com website, who posted me some personal info as well, and of course the BSAC general medical notes for doctors from the BSAC site, which frankly has the best advice. In short it says that an attack can be brought on by poor control of the diabetic condition or an increase in physiological stress due to cold, exercise etc.
BSAC states that a diabetic may dive if they pass a standard medical test and satisfy the following criteria..
1. The diabetic has not experienced any hypo attack within the last year.
2. Not been hospitalised for any diabetic reason in the last year.
3. The physician considers the level of control to be satisfactory, implying long term control.
4. No retinopathy present beyond background level or neuropathy, nor any vascular or microvascular disease beyond the background retinopathy in the eye.
The diver should obtain forms A and B from BSAC (on their website) togther with a leaflet which should be given to the DO on successful completion of the medical. Form A must be filled in by the diver on an annual basis. Form B should be filled in by the physician on an annual basis also. Copies of both forms should be sent to Chris Edge at his home address, (which is on the guidlines) The physician should be confident the diver has a good undeerstanding of the risks being undertaken when diving as a diabetic.
also the regime must not have been changed in the last year and for a time the diabetic diver will be restricted to 30m and no deco, and the above should carry oral glucose with them in water and a blood test kit, glucose tablets and a glucose pen on the boat/shore.
If you want any practical advice send me a mail or pm.