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  • Diabetes and Law Enforcement

    I am looking for information that relates to having diabetes and the correlation of shift work. I work as a uniformed police officer with the federal government. If my a1c is above 8, I can’t work.

  • #2
    I'm surprised they base acceptability on A1C levels.

    Go here https://post.ca.gov/portals/0/post_d...anual/Endo.pdf and read the section on diabetes. It outlines just about all the concerns a department may have about diabetics in law enforcement.
    Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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    • #3
      I’m an adult onset type 1, on a pump and continuous monitoring sensor.

      Nobody has ever blinked an eye at my diabetes.

      Having a higher a1c shouldn’t really matter... the main concern, if anyone had one, should be hypoglycemia.

      For health reasons, sure keep it as close to 6 as you can... but that has nothing to do with your ability to work.h
      "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

      "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

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      • #4
        Worked for years with Type 2 diabetes and a co-worker was Type 1. We both had to be sure that we had all the proper supplies to handle any possible problems.

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        • #5
          I think there are two concerns, short term and long term.

          Short term is that diabetics are taught to take insulin prior to a meal to counter the rise in blood sugar as it occurs. But there are occasions when officers receive an emergency call causing the to cut their lunch break short before a meal is served, which without food can cause their blood sugar to crash. If on arrival at that call they engage in a foot pursuit or altercation, strenuous physical activity which can cause blood sugar to crash even further, they can be left helpless. The answer is to not inject until after the meal, which is also unhealthy.

          The long term effect is that diabetes is known to cause cardio impairment. Cardio is one of the major causes of disability retirements in this profession. In these times of tight budgets, departments are loathe to pay for disability claims and retirements that are organic and not work related.
          Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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          • #6
            If you're the kinda diabetic who keeps a higher blood sugar. You should just try to manage to keep it at a close normal level. But I'm sure you know this. If you're a low sugar prone diabetic that could be more problematic. But as mentioned earlier I'm very surprised they have a set A1C as a mark where you cannot work. I know during the hiring process they would care more. But I'm surprised on the job this is the route they take. I'm just wondering why did you tell them?

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            • #7
              I know hundreds of officers/people who are diabetic & work with no major problems.

              I am an adult onset Type II diabetic who had a A1C of 10.6 when diagnosed. I am lucky that I am not insulin dependent. At this weeks Dr appointment I was at 6.2 I am right at 4 yrs since diagnosis

              This diagnosis came AFTER I retired and went to work as a uniformed armed security officer for my Sheriff's Office. I do inmate transports, court security and also provide security for inmates who are hospitalized. I mention that because my hours of work can vary & I have made accommodations to keep myself healthy.

              I carry a "go bag" with extra medication , wrapped snacks, and other items to make my life easier. I also went to the local Walmart at the sporting/fishing department and bought a bright orange "waterproof" matches container. I carry a couple doses of Metformin & Glipizide , anti acid, & aspirin in this container in my pants pocket so I ALWAYS have that available.

              6 months ago I had a dr appointment. We discussed that I just couldn't get below A1C 7.0................While he was happy at that level, he still wanted be lower PLUS he wanted me to loose at least 10 lbs and it wasn't happening. I chose to go with one of the once weekly injectable medications. & have as mentioned lowered my A1C another point AND lost 12 lbs (the medication DOES suppress appetite)

              I might add that when diagnosed and walking around with the 10.6 A1C I was working steady with no problems that impacted my duties

              Insulin dependent.....................talk to your doctor about what tanksolider talked about.................insulin pump/constant metering . One of the guys I worked with when I was full time received a pump probably 15 yrs ago. It made his life easier and made managing his diabetes simpler. He told me at the time that he felt so much better physically with the pump.

              Also as L-1 mentioned the the cardio impact of diabetes is problematic to both you and your physician. When I was diagnosed my Doctor sent me to a cardiologist for a workup. They put me on Atorvastatin and losartan to manage cholesterol and blood pressure and both work quite well for me.

              As far as your agency...................................it is what it is, but medically they don't have a leg to stand on with that rule concerning A1C

              Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

              My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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              • #8
                (Not an officer)
                In 2000 I took a trip to STL & did a road trip up to Springfield, IL to visit our 16th POTUS. During the drive at one point I noticed that I was having to pull over to use the litter box quite a bit. While I found it a little puzzling, I did realize that I was drinking a lot of soda, but I didn't think that much of it & blew it off. FF to 2004 when I took on a job that I was told that I would have to do a drug screen. Wanting to make sure I could produce a sample I drank quite a bit of soda that day before heading to a medical office for what I thought was just going to be a UA. To my surprise I was to undergo a full med exam, including a test of my b/s. They passed me on the medical, but warned me that I should see a doctor regarding my b/s level. Having drank all that soada I attributed it to that & blew it off.

                Five years later I started having issues with my eyesight & I think I probably had a problem with acid reflux. My doctor did an A1c test & diagnosed me as being a Type 2. With medication I quickly got to around 6.8 or so, and eventually got it even down to 5.9 at one point.

                Happy ending? Not exactly, and this is why I frequently call diabetes a sneaky, evil disease. In spite of having my b/s under control I developed retinopathy that required me to go through laser treatments in both eyes unsuccessfully (yet the procedure robbed me of most of my night vision) & eventual surgery. Additionally, a digestive specialist a year later attributed my frequent acid reflux to my having developed neuropathy in the stomach.(neuropathy is more frequently found in the extremities - especially the feet). The neuropathy had rendered my stomach unable to determine when there was food in my stomach & start the digestive process. This resulted in nighttime acid reflux while asleep (imagine waking up to being waterboarded with acid). This resulted in a couple of endoscopies where they found & removed pre-cancerous tissue in my esophagus & a hiatal hernia. I now am supposed to have annual endoscopies for the rest of my life. And finally several years ago I started randomly getting jumps in my pulse. A couple of years ago when I went in for my endoscopy the doctor cancelled my procedure because my pulse was at 150 while lying in bed. I was sent to the ER & referred to a cardiologist who diagnosed me as having atrial afib. The initial treatment of meds was unsuccessful so I ended up having cardiac ablation (with continued meds I seem to be good).

                The purpose of my tell you all of this is that I don't want people to get the impression that if their b/s level isn't so high or low that it's causing them to lose conscience then they're good to go. Having a high b/s level can & obviously does cause damage to your body, and at least in my case w/o my knowledge of it. So if you ever see yourself developing warning signs of having diabetes, take it SERIOUSLY!

                And to Iowa's point, some agencies may want to see a sustained period of your diabetes being controlled before offering you a job. I'm sure they don't want to risk not only officer safety but also incurring high insurance costs due to a candidate being a ticking time bomb.
                This Space For Rent

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