Bodybuilder and Omnipod® Ambassador
Khalid discusses his journey with type 1 diabetes and, with the help of diabetes technology, refuses to let it stop him pursuing his athletic career.
Khalid Keshta was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2011, on the day of his 18th birthday. He remembers it all very clearly, “I started to lose a lot of weight, yet I was athletic. I used to play football, but I’d get really thirsty and I was running to the loo all the time.”
“My parents bought a blood test meter and my whole family did a blood test. They all came back with a reading, but for me it just kept reading ‘error’. We decided to go to A&E and my blood sugar reading was 47mmol/L. The doctor told me that if it wasn’t for the immense amount of water I’d been drinking and urinating constantly, I would have been in a diabetic coma or possibly dead.”
I love being different and wearing my Omnipod®, especially on my abdomen when in a competition – I don’t want to hide it.
Maintaining an active lifestyle
Khalid had been contemplating a career as a footballer but after he broke his knee and tore some ligaments his intended career was over.
He refused to be inactive and started to go to the gym, he says “I began to see changes in my body shape, then after a few years people said, why don’t you compete? I’d not been interested in being a competitive bodybuilder until I realised I could be different, I could compete as a bodybuilder with type 1 diabetes. It is a hard sport, but if I could compete on stage and do well and at the same time raise awareness, I could help show people that you can do anything.”
In 2017, Khalid entered his first competition and won.
Diabetes technology is improving the quality of life for people with type 1 diabetes
Khalid started managing his diabetes on multiple daily injections (MDI) but moved away from MDI and onto an insulin pump. He says, “I was happy with it at the time, but because of the tubing and the type of exercise I did, I had to take it off to train, so it ended up feeling like too much hassle. Then I went to a JDRF event and saw someone with something on their arm; I just thought it was a type of sensor, but they told me it was an Omnipod®: a tubeless, wireless insulin pump. That really got my attention.
“I had an extremely helpful health care provider and they asked the commissioner about getting me an Omnipod DASH® System.”
The main benefit, he says, is that it’s tubeless. “But I can also use temporary basal rates, which are handy especially during or after exercise. I also feel like it’s easier to calculate my doses using the bolus calculator on the PDM (personal diabetes manager) rather than on MDI.”
Now Khalid continues to train, compete and coach others as a personal trainer. He uses social media to help raise awareness of what type 1 diabetes is. He says, “People ask me what’s on my arm, and I tell them it’s my insulin pump. I love being different and wearing my Omnipod®, especially on my abdomen when in a competition – I don’t want to hide it. People comment on the muscles, then the Pod and then they ask, ‘how can you do this and have type 1 diabetes?’ and I say, ‘You can be whatever you want to be’.”
Khalid is an Omnipod® Ambassador and has an ongoing commercial relationship with Insulet. This Omnipod DASH® System user testimonial relates to an account of an individual’s response to treatment with the Omnipod DASH® System. However, the individuals’ response does not provide any indication, guide, warranty or guarantee as to the response other persons may have when using the Omnipod DASH® System. The response other persons have could be different. Suitability for the Omnipod DASH® Insulin Management System should be discussed with a qualified Healthcare Provider. Refer to the Omnipod DASH® Insulin Management System User Guide for complete safety information including indications, contraindications, warnings, cautions, and instructions.