Friday, June 22, 2012

How will my diabetes affect my work? Are there any jobs I cannot do?

Whether  your diabetes will affect your work depends upon the nature of your diabetes and the nature of your work. Thus,  the  impact  can be  almost negligible to highly significant and  life-changing. People with early or well-controlled type 2 diabetes, especially if they are not taking medications known to cause hypoglycemia, should be able to perform satisfactorily in  almost any type of work that they wish to do. In situations in which personal or public endangermenis a possibility (e.g., transportation and heavy equipment operation) glucose monitoring should be performed periodically, especially when feeling unwell, as high blood sugars can be associ- ated with impaired mental functioning and increase the risk of dehydration and dizziness or drowsiness. If you have type 1 diabetes or insulin-requiring type 2 diabetes,  or have type 2 diabetes but are taking pills known to cause low blood sugar then the performance of cer- tain   occupations  which  could  potentially  endanger yourself or others places a special burden of care and attention upon you. With regards to motor transporta- tion,  motor  vehicle   departments   have  regulations, which may vary from  state to  state, as to  licensure requirements. They may involve, for example, produc- ing records from the memory of a glucose monitor to show that you have checked your blood sugar at regu- lar intervals prior to and during driving and have had no significant low blood sugar readings while doing so. With regard to flying, there are federal regulations and states may have  additional  requirements. If  you are considering a military  career  and have diabetes, you will have to inform your recruiter, who will advise you of your eligibility.

A number of occupations are not covered by specific regulations, but  you will generally be  held  to  the standard of reasonable behavior if you cause harm to people or property  wholly or in part  as a result of your diabetes. If you did not know what a reasonable person  might  be  expected to  know,  or  act  on  the knowledge  that  you  have  as  a  reasonable   person might be expected to act, you could be judged to have recklessly endangered  the  lives of  others  or  negli- gently  damaged the property of others and could be subject to legal  penalties. If in doubt, therefore, dis- cuss  your  diabetes   with   your  doctor   and   your employer and seek advice from experts on regulations that might apply to you.

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