Lady suspended from gym for having type 1 diabetes

Mon, 24 Feb 2014
A lady with type 1 diabetes from Kings Lynn has found she is no longer able to use her gym whilst the fitness centre determines whether she presents a health risk to either herself or others.

Ms Penelope Angel had been using the gym regularly since the Summer of 2013 and problems only started when the gym objected to her taking her own sweets which were taken to prevent hypoglycemia occurring.

The council run St James swimming and fitness centre dug their heels in and prevented Ms Angel from eating during gym sessions before suspending her from attending and exercising at the gym over fear for the safety of her and other gym users. The gym has said it will seek guidance over how it can people with conditions, such as diabetes, use the gym safely.

The decision of the gym appears to be questionable as people with diabetes often rely on taking particular types of sugar that they can rely on. Switching to other sugary snacks provided by the gym may make it difficult to judge the correct portion they need and may not act quickly enough to prevent low blood glucose levels occurring.

The action of the gym may come across, to some readers, as a cynical way to get users with diabetes at risk of hypos to buy sweets from the gym's own vending machines. The decision to stop Ms Angel from taking sugar in the gym appears to be far from being in the interest in safety and therefore to ban Ms Angel on grounds of safety will seem like hypocrisy.

The incident is not the first has reported on whereby people with type 1 diabetes have been turned away from using facilities for bringing their own hypo treatments.
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