October 2, 2012

Shift work and Type 1 Diabetes

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Researchers wondered how, if at all, does shift work affect Type 1 diabetes management. A study published in PubMed reveals that the outcome is lackluster, but not by much.

As if it’s not a full-time job in and of itself, Type 1 diabetes control tends to suffer if you are a shift worker, according to this study conducted in the UK. The participants were ages 16-65 and attended city hospitals for care of their Type 1 diabetes. A questionnaire was mailed to 1,370 participants. Data was gathered from 296 participants.

Of the returned questionnaire, 23% reported being employed in a shift work position. On average, the shift workers reported having higher HbA1c (average blood glucose) than the non-shift workers. The average HbA1c of shift workers was approximately 9.0 mg/dL where non-shift workers registered 8.3 mg/dL.

The take home from this study encourages the hyper vigilance of health practitioners in advising management strategies for Type 1 diabetes patients to improve diabetic control while shift working. In all fairness, whether you are committed to a random 8-hour shift, 12 hour days, or you’re a workaholic, if you sacrifice your diabetes management, you’ll forfeit your best. Period.

A pearl of wisdom comes courtesy of dLife TV and the insightful piece Test, Don’t Guess featuring Dr. Steve Edelman. Dr. Edelman has had Type 1 diabetes since the age of 15 and is the Founder and a Director of Taking Control of Your Diabetes. In order to keep tight control in his demanding work schedule he constantly tests. Regardless of how well you think you know your numbers, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

Visit Your Diabetes Health for more resources about health.