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Can You Work With Diabetes

Diabetes 9 To 5: Tips To Help You Manage Your Diabetes At Work

Diabetes 9 To 5: Tips To Help You Manage Your Diabetes At Work

When television's perennially popular Mary Richards walked into WJM's Minneapolis newsroom in 1970, she did more than show the world a single girl could "make it on her own." The award-winning actress who portrayed her -- Mary Tyler Moore -- also showed us diabetes and a career could coexist. Moore was diagnosed with adult-onset type 1 diabetes in the 1960s, several years before her Emmy-winning show began. But that didn't stop Moore from pursuing her career or turning the world on with a smile. Today, millions of people afflicted with type 1 or type 2 diabetes are following in Moore's footsteps. They're refusing to let diabetes get in the way of their careers. "I made a decision early in my life to find a career where diabetes and success could coexist," says Paul Strumph, MD. Strumph is chief medical officer of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. He also has type 1 diabetes. "I don't wear it like a badge," he says. "But clearly my career has not suffered because of my diabetes." The same is true for San Diego resident Aaron Synder. Synder was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes when he was 20. Today, at age 30, he's a successful trader. "I have a job that requires me to be at work before 5:30 a.m., and I sometimes stay until 5:30 p.m.," Synder says. "I'm continuously surrounded by free candy, sodas, and chips on a daily basis. But I still manage to keep my blood sugar under control and not let my illness interfere with my job." In addition to his job, Synder, is a patient counselor and is also writing a book to help other people with diabetes gain control of their life and career. It isn't always easy to do what Synder and Strumph do. Both agree that having diabetes does present some workday challenges. But, says endocrinologist Lauren Golden, MD, knowledge is the k Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Your Work

Diabetes And Your Work

Diabetes and work don’t always mix. How do you manage food, medicines, rest, monitoring, exercise, and work, especially if you’ve got demands, deadlines, and a boss who’s sweating you? How do you deal with the stress? I asked my son’s 22-year-old friend Don, who was diagnosed with Type 1 in 2008, about his data input job. “Don’t even ask,” he said. “On weekends, I can eat like I’m supposed to. I can test when I need to, exercise if I want to. That’s hard enough. But at work? I don’t think so. We get one lunch break of 35 minutes. We’re supposed to get coffee breaks, but nobody takes them. We’re too busy, so we stay at our desks and type.” I asked Don if he knew about employment law requiring employers to make “reasonable accommodations” for illness and disability, including time to monitor and a private place to do it. “I’ve heard of stuff like that,” he said. “The boss tells me I can test if I really need to, but he says things like ‘don’t take advantage of my good nature.’ I’ve only had the job six months and don’t want to [antagonize] him.” Don may be right to worry. According to the American Diabetes Association, anti-diabetes discrimination at work is a major problem. According to this ADA Web page, “For workers with diabetes, employment discrimination can take many forms, but typically includes a failure to hire or promote you because of your diabetes, termination due to your diabetes, or a failure to provide you with reasonable accommodations that help you do your job.” But worse than discrimination may be a work environment’s direct effects on your health. Work can be a major source of stress, which we know increases insulin resistance and blood pressure. Work stress can lead to consuming unhealthy food, Continue reading >>

Why Working The Night Shift May Boost Your Risk Of Diabetes

Why Working The Night Shift May Boost Your Risk Of Diabetes

The night shift isn’t usually anyone’s first choice, but in some professions — and in this economy — it can’t be avoided. About 26% percent of the American workforce, including health-care workers and sanitation staff, clocks in after dark, and the schedule may be taking a toll on their health. Past research has shown that working when you’re supposed to be in bed disrupts your circadian rhythm, raising the risk of heart disease, obesity, ulcers and even depression. Now, reporting in the journal PLoS Medicine, scientists also find that rotating night-shift work can increase the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. The backward schedule can mess with the body’s ability to use insulin properly to break down sugars in the blood, according to Dr. Frank Hu, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health. In a study involving nearly 177,000 middle-aged women enrolled in two Nurses’ Health Studies, women who worked rotating night shifts for 1 to 2 years increased their risk of developing diabetes by 5% over a 20-year follow-up period, compared with women who didn’t get assigned these shifts. Women who kept up night work for 10 to 19 years increased their risk by 40%. Working on and off at night for more than 20 years boosted the risk of diabetes by 60%. Certainly, body weight is part of the problem, since excess weight is a risk factor for diabetes. People who work at night may snack more when they should be sleeping — and our bodies are metabolically trained to slow down as the sun sets. So the calories we take in during the evening and night hours are less likely to get burned off efficiently, and more likely to be stored as fat. It’s not just night work that causes a problem. Simply not sleeping when you’re supposed to, o Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Your Career

Diabetes And Your Career

Barriers in the workplace are gradually being dismantled Despite having faced discrimination early in his career, Adam Roth, a special agent with the Department of Commerce, says diabetes doesn't have to hold you back. In school, they like to say you can be anything. A ballet dancer. A firefighter. President of the United States. The sky's the limit, they say, and most kids believe it. But doubt scratches at the back of some kids' minds: Can I be a firefighter? Can I fight crime? Will my diabetes dictate which job I can take? Not too long ago, the unfortunate answer to the last question would have been yes. People with diabetes were shut out of jobs because companies feared that workplace episodes of low blood glucose would put their employees in danger and that caring for diabetes would disrupt their work. But that misguided view is being challenged by advocacy efforts and new laws and guidelines. Diabetes self-care can be accommodated reasonably in most work situations. The American Diabetes Association is committed to making sure every workplace is a fair one for people with diabetes. If you have questions about your rights or treatment you feel is unfair, call 1-800-diabetes (1-800-342-2383). Before you enter the job market, it's important to know your rights as a person with diabetes. There's no law that requires you to disclose your diabetes, and employers aren't allowed to ask about your medical background before offering you a job. That said, some job offers (such as for police officers) may hinge on your ability to pass a medical evaluation, which takes place after a formal offer has been made. A job offer may be rescinded based on exam results, but only if your health will prevent you from doing your job or if it may put you or your coworkers at risk. Who con Continue reading >>

Diabetes And How It Can Affect A Person At Work

Diabetes And How It Can Affect A Person At Work

Many conditions can cause health issues in the workplace and long-term absence from work. One condition that is becoming increasingly prevalent is diabetes. Diabetes is the result of the body being unable to break down glucose into energy, either because the body doesn’t produce enough insulin to metabolise glucose or because the insulin produced by the body doesn’t work properly. Figures from Diabetes UK show that since 1996 the number of people with diabetes in the UK has more than doubled from 1.4 million to 3.5 million. By 2025, it is estimated that five million people will have diabetes in the UK. Types of diabetes Type 1 diabetes: Develops when the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas have been destroyed so the body can’t maintain normal glucose levels. This accounts for only around 10% of all cases of diabetes and is controlled through regular, life-long insulin injections. Type 2 diabetes: This occurs when the body is not making enough insulin and is most common in middle aged or older people. However, it is becoming increasingly common in younger, overweight people and is often linked to lifestyle choices. To some extent, type 2 diabetes can be controlled through diet and exercise, although many people with type 2 diabetes will require medication to control glucose levels. Diabetes – warning signs Certain symptoms can suggest the onset of diabetes, and these include: feeling very thirsty; urinating more frequently, particularly at night; increased hunger; feeling tired; weight loss or loss of muscle bulk; slow-healing cuts or wounds; blurred vision; frequent b0uts of thrush. Risk factors for diabetes Type 1 diabetes: Family history: Having a parent or sibling with the condition. Genetics: The presence of certain genes indicates an increased risk of d Continue reading >>

Diabetics Confront A Tangle Of Workplace Laws

Diabetics Confront A Tangle Of Workplace Laws

Health |Diabetics Confront a Tangle of Workplace Laws Diabetics Confront a Tangle of Workplace Laws A Complicated Process Stephen A. Bokat, general counsel for the United States Chamber of Commerce, says businesses are torn in complying with the Family and Medical Leave Act, balancing long-term leaves of absence with the short-term needs of diabetic employees. Credit Michael Temchine for The New York Times MINNEAPOLIS John Steigauf spent more than a decade fiddling with the innards of those huge United Parcel Service trucks until an icy day two years ago when the company put him on leave from his mechanics job. A supervisor escorted him off the premises. His work was good. He hadnt socked the boss or embezzled money. It had to do with what was inside him: diabetes . U.P.S. framed it as a safety issue: Mr. Steigaufs blood sugar might suddenly plummet while he tested a truck, causing him to slam into someone. Mr. Steigauf considered it discrimination, a taint that diabetes can carry. I was regarded as a damaged piece of meat, he said. It was like, Youre one of those, and we cant have one of those. With 21 million American diabetics, disputes like this have increasingly rippled through the workplace: A mortgage loan officer in Oregon was denied permission to eat at her desk to stanch her sugar fluctuations, and eventually was fired. A Sears lingerie saleswoman in Illinois with nerve damage in her leg quit after being told she could not cut through a stockroom to reach her department. A worker at a candy company in Wisconsin was fired after asking where he could dispose of his insulin needles. In each instance, diabetics contend that they are being blocked by their employers from the near-normal lives their doctors say are possible. But the companies say they are strugglin Continue reading >>

Can I Continue Working With Diabetes?

Can I Continue Working With Diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic condition in which the pancreas doesn't function effectively which results in consistently high rates of sugar in the blood stream. As the individual’s own body is not able to effectively regulation blood sugar levels, medical intervention is required to do so. There are two major forms of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2. The onset of Type 1 diabetes can occur in individuals of all ages, but is most commonly diagnosed in minors. The pancreas of Type 1 patients produces little to no insulin and insulin injections are required to manage the disease. In Type 2 diabetes, the onset of the condition can also occur at any age, but happens most frequently in adulthood. Type 2 patients may be insulin resistant, produce too little insulin, or both. Medication and/or insulin injections may be necessary to manage the disease. Most diabetics must either take a prescription medication to control their blood glucose levels or must inject themselves with insulin, a hormone produced by a healthy pancreas, which is responsible for regulating level of sugar in the blood stream. Additionally, diabetics must typically monitor their blood glucose levels throughout the day and also ensure they eat an appropriate diet for promoting blood sugar regularity. Success in managing diabetes and its symptoms varies significantly from one case to the next. Most people are able to continue working even with the condition; however, in severe cases in which the disease and its symptoms severely limit the ability to perform standard job functions, the individual may be unable to maintain gainful employment. Diabetes and Physical Capacity Diabetes can cause a number of symptoms, most of which are associated with high blood sugar levels and include excessive thirst, frequent urination, we Continue reading >>

The Impact Of Diabetes On Employment And Work Productivity

The Impact Of Diabetes On Employment And Work Productivity

Abstract OBJECTIVE—The purpose of this study was to longitudinally examine the effect of diabetes on labor market outcomes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—Using secondary data from the first two waves (1992 and 1994) of the Health and Retirement Study, we identified 7,055 employed respondents (51–61 years of age), 490 of whom reported having diabetes in wave 1. We estimated the effect of diabetes in wave 1 on the probability of working in wave 2 using probit regression. For those working in wave 2, we modeled the relationships between diabetic status in wave 1 and the change in hours worked and work-loss days using ordinary least-squares regressions and modeled the presence of health-related work limitations using probit regression. All models control for health status and job characteristics and are estimated separately by sex. RESULTS—Among individuals with diabetes, the absolute probability of working was 4.4 percentage points less for women and 7.1 percentage points less for men relative to that of their counterparts without diabetes. Change in weekly hours worked was not statistically significantly associated with diabetes. Women with diabetes had 2 more work-loss days per year compared with women without diabetes. Compared with individuals without diabetes, men and women with diabetes were 5.4 and 6 percentage points (absolute increase), respectively, more likely to have work limitations. CONCLUSIONS—This article provides evidence that diabetes affects patients, employers, and society not only by reducing employment but also by contributing to work loss and health-related work limitations for those who remain employed. The medical care costs associated with diabetes create a considerable economic burden for patients, families, and society (1,2). Productivit Continue reading >>

How To Get Fired With Diabetes

How To Get Fired With Diabetes

Paul Cathcart describes what it feels like to be pushed out of a job by an insidious HR department. Its fairly well established in U.S. and UK law that people with diabetes have some protection against job discrimination. In the case of those already on the job, employers are expected to make reasonable accommodations for issues that arise from a diabetes diagnosis. Unfortunately, job discrimination is not always a clear-cut issue. Too often, people with diabetes will be fired or forced out for other alleged reasons, including poor job performance. It gets hard to define what is caused by diabetes and what isnt, especially when an employer wants to believe the latter over the former. In this edited excerpt from the book Persona Non Grata With Diabetes, Paul Cathcart describes the experience of being nudged out of a job while dealing with a long-term diabetes-related illness: HR brings me in for the talk to see how I am doing. Is there anything we can do to help? Adjust your working hours? Just let us know. We are here to offer you all the help and support we can. The door is always open. HR brings me in for the talk Will you ever be ill again? If so, do you know when and for exactly how long? Its affecting the team; they are managing to cover for now, but its getting a bit much for them. In the meantime we are extending your three-month probationary period by another three months. HR brings me in for the talk My boss has come along to make this a more formal affair. No one is happy when I request to be paid for the prearranged work from home I did while I was ill. I am informed that this will no longer be an acceptable procedure. HR brings me in for the talk they send me to see the company doctor to get to the bottom of this. Someone reported back they had seen me drin Continue reading >>

Type 2 Diabetes And Your Workplace Rights

Type 2 Diabetes And Your Workplace Rights

Living with type 2 diabetes is hard enough. But what if your condition affects your work or the way people treat you there? Learn about your employment rights as someone with diabetes. Diabetes is considered a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This law applies to any employer in the United States that has 15 employees or more. It also applies to: labor organizations joint labor-management committees employment agencies all state and local government employers If you’re employed by or applying for a job with one of these organizations, the ADA protects you from discrimination. An employer can’t refuse to hire you based solely on your diabetes. In fact, you don’t even have a legal obligation to tell a prospective employer about your condition. Once you’ve been hired, the ADA also requires your employer to provide reasonable accommodations. These include changes to your workplace or routine that can help you to manage your condition. You may also be protected under the Rehabilitation Act if you’re federally employed. Depending on where you live, additional state laws may cover smaller employers or offer broader protections. In most cases, an employer can’t use your diabetes as a reason: not to hire you not to promote you to fire you The only exception is if your condition poses a direct threat to your health or safety or those of others. For example, do you frequently experience hypoglycemic episodes that could interfere with your duties? These episodes might incapacitate you while you’re operating heavy machinery. This could put your life at risk. In this case, an employer has the right not to hire you for a role that requires you to operate that machinery. Once you’ve received a job offer, you’re subject to the same medical req Continue reading >>

Managing Type 2 Diabetes At Work

Managing Type 2 Diabetes At Work

Whether it's demanding bosses or meetings that run late, you probably deal with a variety of challenges in the workplace. Add in type 2 diabetes and you’ve got even more to juggle while you’re on the job, says Maria Elena Pena, MD, an assistant professor at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine and an endocrinologist at North Shore- LIJ Hospital in Syosset, N.Y. The exact hurdles vary from person to person, depending on your health, your work schedule, and your type of employment. But there are effective measures everyone can take to successfully handle type 2 diabetes, no matter what type of work you do: 1. Get it out in the open. "Many people don’t understand diabetes and what it means to have and manage the condition,” says Shelley Wishnick, RD, CDE, a diabetes educator at the Friedman Diabetes Institute at Mount Sinai Beth Israel in New York City. “Ideally, everyone in the workplace should be educated on diabetes and how it is managed in order to promote a healthier, more productive, and supportive working environment.” That said, you might not feel comfortable discussing your diabetes at work. At the very least, consider confiding in at least one or two co-workers — tell them about the possibility of your having a low blood sugar episode, the symptoms to watch for, and what they can do to help you in a crisis, says Karen Kemmis, CDE, DPT, a certified diabetes educator, physical therapist, and exercise physiologist at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, N.Y. and a spokesperson for the American Association of Diabetes Educators. Dr. Pena also suggests telling your supervisor about your need for designated mealtimes, something she says "is especially important if you have frequent episodes of low blood sugar.” 2. Plan to check blood sugar Continue reading >>

Social Security Disability For Diabetes (type I Or Type Ii)

Social Security Disability For Diabetes (type I Or Type Ii)

Diabetes happens when the body doesn't produce enough insulin to process glucose. Diabetes can often be controlled with treatment -- a combination of medication and diet. As a person gets older, sometimes diabetes can't be controlled, and then it can cause damage to internal organs and other problems. Symptoms and Complications of Adult Diabetes Symptoms of both diabetes type 1 and diabetes type 2 include frequent urination, unusual thirst and hunger, and extreme fatigue. People with type 2 diabetes also can suffer from tingling or numbness in the hands and feet, frequent infections, and cuts that are slow to heal. Complications from diabetes include: retinopathy (eye and vision problems) nephropathy (kidney disease) neuropathy (nerve damage) in feet or hands that disrupts your ability to stand, walk, or use your hands hypertension (high blood pressure) gastroparesis (a type of nerve damage that interferes with digestion) peripheral arterial disease (reduced blood flow to your limbs) cellulitis (skin infections), and Qualifying for Disability Benefits with Diabetes If you have uncontrolled diabetes and you have been prevented from working for at least 12 months, or you expect that you won't be able to work for at least 12 months, then you may be eligible for Social Security disability (SSDI/SSD) benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. But to qualify for disability benefits, the damage caused by your diabetes must severely limit what you can do, or you must have complications that fulfill the requirements of one of Social Security's disability listings. If your diabetes is uncontrolled because you don't follow your doctor's prescribed treatment, you won't be eligible for disability. For more information, see our article on failing to comply with treatmen Continue reading >>

Diabetes At Work: Your Rights And Benefits

Diabetes At Work: Your Rights And Benefits

By Isabel Chin, Lynn Kennedy, and Jeemin Kwon Breaking down employer-based health insurance, employee health benefits, and employee rights for people with diabetes The most common type of health insurance coverage in the US is employer-based insurance, covering almost 50% of all Americans in 2015. Despite its prominence, employer-based health insurance can be challenging to navigate, and living with diabetes makes the process of understanding and accessing employee health benefits like insurance all the more critical. This guide breaks down employer-based insurance, employee health benefits, and the rights of people with diabetes in the workplace. We hope this guide helps you better understand employer-based insurance, maximize your health through work benefits, and know and protect your workplace rights as a person with diabetes. In this article, you can read about (click a particular section to jump right to it!): What to do to maintain employer-based health insurance after a major life event like losing a job Employer-Based Health Insurance: The Basics Currently, all US employers with over 50 full-time employees are required to provide health insurance that meets certain standards of affordability otherwise they face a fine. While small businesses are not required to offer health insurance to their employees, many companies will so they can take advantage of tax credits. It is important to understand what coverage and health benefits your employer offers in order to choose the right insurance plan for you. Job-based health plans are required to provide a “Summary of Benefits and Coverage” (also known as an SBC) that includes standard health plan information – important for understanding the terms and comparing options. An SBC includes a benefit summary with inf Continue reading >>

Career Tracks

Career Tracks

There’s an incredible world out there with a ton of professional positions in the diabetes field. Many people think that the only way they can make a career of helping people with diabetes is to become an endocrinologist or a diabetes educator, but in reality almost any career path can be linked with diabetes. The world needs more professionals who are passionate about helping people with diabetes, and understand what living with diabetes is like. CDN would like to help you become more involved in the professional world of diabetes, whether it is going to medical school, becoming a researcher, chemically engineering future medicines, designing the future of technology, working at a nonprofit, or protecting the legal rights of people with diabetes. We have created Career Profiles to help provide insights into what some of your career options might be, what it takes to get there, and some considerations for along the way. Don’t see what you’re interested in? Tell us! We would love to add a profile for the career you are interested in as well - chances are somebody else will want to see it too! The National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators describes a Certified Diabetes Educator® (or a CDE®) as a health professional who possesses comprehensive knowledge of and experience in prediabetes, diabetes prevention and management. The CDE educates and supports people affected by diabetes to understand and manage the condition. CDEs have passed a rigorous exam to show they have this specialized knowledge. In order to become a CDE, you must be a clinical psychologist, registered nurse, occupational therapist, optometrist, pharmacist, physical therapist, physician (M.D. or D.O.), podiatrist, dietician, physician assistant, health educator, or health care provider wit Continue reading >>

Can I Work With Diabetes?

Can I Work With Diabetes?

Both Type I and Type II Diabetes, as well as the other forms of diabetes, can be debilitating if not controlled. Many can and do qualify for Social Security Disability benefits because of diabetes. However, simply having diabetes does not automatically qualify you for Social Security Disability benefits. Your eligibility for Social Security Disability depends on which symptoms you have and their severity. You may also qualify for Social Security Disability benefits due to diabetes-related conditions, such as having amputated limbs or blindness. Diabetes is a digestive disease which affects your insulin levels. Because of the imbalance in insulin, your levels of blood sugar become elevated. This causes an increase in hunger and thirst and frequent urination. A common side effect of the constant hunger associated with high blood sugar levels and diabetes is weight gain and obesity. Additional symptoms include abdominal pain, altered consciousness, vomiting, nausea, and dehydration (usually due to craving sweet or caffeinated drinks to quench thirst). Nearly 3% of the world’s population suffers from some form of diabetes, making it one of the most prevalent diseases in the world. Effects of Diabetes on Your Ability to Perform Physical Work Depending on the severity of your symptoms, and which symptoms you suffer from (some people with Type II Diabetes have no noticeable symptoms at all), your ability to perform physical work may or may not be affected. In order to be eligible for Social security Disability benefits, you must be unable to perform any kind of work which you have ever done in the past, and the SSA must determine that you could not reasonably be trained to do any other kind of work. In order to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits from diabetes, y Continue reading >>

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