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Basketball and Crohn’s

I started to get into basketball when I was thirteen years old. My parents had season tickets to the Philadelphia 76’ers , and I was able to go the ever home game. As the years went on, I played in numerous leagues, watched and even collected basketball cards. When I was diagnosed with Crohn’s, playing an organized basketball game became a very hard task to do.

A process to play basketball with Crohn’s

On Sunday mornings, I play in a pick-up game with my dad and his friends. Even though they are twice my age, it’s a great game to play in. I learned the fundamentals of basketball, and am having fun with some father-son time. We start playing at 7 o’clock in the morning. In order to have a successful day of basketball, I have to go through a process before I even step foot on the court.

Hydration is key

First and foremost, I have to be hydrated before playing. I make sure I wake up two hours before I play so that I can start putting fluids into my body. I also have to eat a light breakfast since I am taking my morning medicines. Then I have to wait. I know that my worst time of the day is the morning. My bowels are waking up, and things begin to move around. I have to use the restroom five or six times before I leave the house. Using the restroom at that frequency increases the chances of dehydration. I make sure that I am putting a balance of Gatorade and water back into my body.

When I get to the basketball gym around fifteen minutes before playing, I make sure to use the restroom before stepping foot on the court. We usually have six players on each team. This works out well for me because that means that there is a substitute player who rotates into the game every four baskets scored. I feel very comfortable being the first person to sub so that I can have some extra time to hydrate and use the restroom. As the first game ends, and the second game starts I am constantly drinking fluids because of the amount of sweat that I put out while playing. I am always thinking about how I need to stay hydrated. After the game, I make sure I finish a whole bottle of water, as I begin to wind down.

You can play sports with Crohn’s or colitis

Can you play basketball and other sport? You bet your bottom dollar that you can! Do you have to be careful when it comes to dehydration? Yes! But don’t get down on yourself about it. Planning ahead is the best advice I can give you. Even though it might be a pain to get up, or get ready hours before you engage in a sport, it will be worth it when your not spending the day in the hospital hooked up to IVS. I don’t recommend to just drinking Gatorade. It has artificial sweeteners that could mess around with your stomach. To make it easier on your stomach, try water that has electrolytes in them. If you must play a sport without preparing before hand, just carry as much fluids with you as possible.

Don’t let this Crohn’s put a damper on you recreational activities. Just adjust your schedule accordingly based on your symptoms.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.