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Health Related Issues

health related issues when skiing
Asthma
Cold weather makes asthma worse, so it is vital to continue taking your regular medication.

Ventolin (salbutamol) or similar bronchodilator inhalers (eg. Bricanyl, terbutaline) should be used before going out into the cold, and should be carried on the slopes.
Diabetes
Skiing can be fully enjoyed by diabetics, providing you take the appropriate precautions. Do not ski alone, and let your companions know that you are diabetic: warn them to give you sugar if you develop symptoms of hypoglycaemia. The risk of hypothermia is much more severe if you develop hypoglycaemia: the sensation of severe cold and the ability to shiver are both lost.

Skiing is a high energy activity, using about 10kCal/minute. You must therefore increase your caloric intake. As a rough guide you should eat an extra bar of chocolate in the morning (at the top of the first lift is the best time), have about 100 kCal extra for lunch, and a mid-afternoon snack (if you are skiing all day). And of course you must carry glucose or sweets with you.

A medicalert bracelet may be lifesaving in emergencies, and some form of official identification will avoid problems with needles at customs. The British Diabetic Association or American Diabetes Association is a good source of information.

Epilepsy
As with any sport, a balance must be established between restricting activities and exposing yourself (or your children) to danger.

Frequent fits unfortunately preclude skiing, but well controlled epileptics may ski. They should do so in company and not in extreme situations.
Pregnancy
There are two things to consider here - the effect of skiing on the foetus, either through falling, vigorous exercise or tiredness, and the effect of the foetus on you! Both will depend on the stage of pregnancy and your individual experience.

From about the seventh month, skiing is physically difficult. In late pregnancy it is also potentially dangerous as it could induce premature labour. The best time is 12-28 weeks. Try not to fall heavily; avoid high speeds, crowded pistes and high altitudes.

Women who have had previous miscarriages should not ski. Pregnant women are at increased risk of leg vein thrombosis during prolonged periods of immobility, so make sure you move your legs and feet while in the airplane or car and keep well hydrated.