Fighting Diabetes with Crossfit

Fausto Carbone is a 24 year old Crossfitter that trains at Crossfit Catania in Sicily. He was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, which has no known causes other than family history, when he was 11 years old.

‘I can tell you that I am a type 1 diabetic for 13 years now. A disease from which there is no cure, but you can fight well with insulin, with physical activity and with so much willpower, and Crossfit helps this so much.’

‘It has changed me and helped me to cope better with my life. This is an important message to get to the people; now all over the world there are hundreds of millions of diabetics, and from the oldest to the youngest it is important to understand that nothing is impossible. Dedication and commitment to Crossfit, as well as life, will allow you to overcome everything.’

Fausto has used Crossfit to remedy many of the effects of diabetes, and trained hard in order to compete at a high level within the sport. He has taken part in european competitions like the Bruxelles throwdown 2014, southern warriors 2015 and fall series 2015. As well as working hard in the Box, he also studies.

Fausto pushing himself hard in the Box
Fausto pushing himself hard in the Box

‘I am undertaking my medical degree and I am following a clinical study to demonstrate how even the effort of mixed aerobic and anaerobic exercise can help reduce oxidative stress due to stress hyperglycemic.’

In simpler terms, he is scientifically studying the effects of Crossfit on diabetes.

CrossFit and Diabetes

There is a great deal of controversy surrounding CrossFit and diabetes. CrossFit CEO Greg Glassman sent a tweet that received a large social media backlash:

The initial message
The initial message
A response
A response
..and the answer
..and the answer

People were annoyed because there are different forms of Diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2). Diabetics do not all have the condition because of a poor diet, too much sugar, and/or a sedentary lifestyle. Fausto is a perfect example of this, when you watch him smash out his 120kg Snatch PR, you can see that there is absolutely no reason why any individual has to be hindered in any way by the condition. As with most things, it is too complicated an issue to be described using generalisations.

Glassman said that he thought the distinction was obvious and clearly apparent when he sent his tweet. The tweet and graphic were in no way targeted against individuals who have diabetes, but against coca cola, and other corporations that sell products that have negative consequences on the general health of the population.

Fausto destroying Wod after Wod after Wod
Fausto destroying Wod after Wod after Wod

CrossFit is a huge worldwide movement with the health and fitness concerns of the human population very much at the heart of its philosophy. The graphic is bold, and is designed to raise awareness and to help address the cause of the issue. There is no debating the fact that a healthy lifestyle, regular exercise and good nutrition lower the risk of Type 2 Diabetes.

Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

Type 1:

This is the form that Fausto was diagnosed with, and affects only 5 – 10% of people with diabetes. It is usually discovered at a young age, which is why it is also known as juvenile diabetes. It has no cause related to the sufferer, and can never be cured.

In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. The body breaks down the sugars and starches you eat into a simple sugar called glucose, which it uses for energy. Insulin is a hormone that the body needs to get glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of the body. With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, even young children can learn to manage their condition and live long, healthy lives. Fausto uses Crossfit as an additional and effective way to manage his condition.

Fausto uses Crossfit to counter his Type 1 diabetes
Fausto uses Crossfit to counter his Type 1 diabetes

Type 2:

In type 2 diabetes, your body does not use insulin properly. This is called insulin resistance. At first, the pancreas makes extra insulin to make up for it. But, over time your pancreas isn’t able to keep up and can’t make enough insulin to keep your blood glucose levels normal.

Type 2 is treated with lifestyle changes, medication and insulin.

Some groups have a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes than others. Type 2 diabetes is more common in African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders, as well as the aged population.

Worldwide Statistics on Diabetes in 2015

According to the World Health Organisation:

  •  9% of the global population has diabetes
  • 90% of people with diabetes in the world have Type 2 diabetes
  • 1.5 million deaths a year are attributed to diabetes each year

Type 2 diabetes is, in most cases, preventable through a healthy lifestyle, exercise and a good diet. Type 1 diabetes cannot be cured. It must be managed. Fausto is an inspiring guy and a great Crossfitter, so whether you have diabetes or not, he shows all of us that through dedication, passion and commitment, you can achieve whatever you want.

Descriptions and facts are taken from and

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