Night shift and diabetes

Michelle Randazzo
By Michelle Randazzo Latest Reply 2011-06-06 17:05:45 -0500
Started 2011-05-29 21:08:00 -0500

I was wondering if anyone out there would have ideas or information about diabetes management and working night shift. I have a high stress job and work night shift. I have other medical problems that I have been able to manage. However, diabetes is a very complex disease where diet, rest, exercise and medications are a continuing balancing act. I'm not sure if there is anything I can do other than find a day job.
Thanks, Shell

2 replies

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2011-06-06 17:05:45 -0500 Report

I started my new job working nights about two months ago. This has been my first job since I was diagnosed Jan 2010 with diabetes. My previous job was also working nights at an assisted living residence. So far I have not had any problems with BG control. My numbers have actualy improved. Probably due to a lowering of stress since I am finally employed again. I have been fighting a wicked upper respitory thing this last week, but my BG has stayed good. Even worked a 6am to 2 pm unexpected shift, then returned that evening for my scheduled 10pm to 6am. Plus had an extra night shift last night. My BG did go low 69 an hour before work last night. That was after eating my supper. Ate about 2 extra carb servings. Was good ll night with 1 snack thrown in besides my usual work meal.
I think I was most likely dealing with diabetes for a long time prior to being diagnosed. For most of my life I have experienced low blood suger episodes. Feels the same now, only I have a meter to verify what is happening.
I am only on 500 mg Metformin once a day and watching my carbs like crazy. This is much simpler than if I was needed insulin. But I think it would still not make working nights any more difficult than any other shift.
So far there have been several very high stress moments, besides learning a new place, residents, and fellow staff. But no problems with my BG. Again I think the stress of months of no job and hunting for 1 was much harder on my BG.

majikinfl 2011-05-29 22:03:42 -0500 Report

I don't have personal experience but as a nurse I have worked along side Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics on 12 hour night shifts. IF some of the people [or all] you work with know you are diabetic they will or should work with you. I know most of the people I have known, brought mini meals and things they could put in their pocket and eat in the Unit {NICU} where food is verboten. Zip lock bag with grapes, carrots, cherries, apple slices even sweet pickles. Peanut Butter crackers or cheese crackers, you can use tiny crackers[like cheeseits] so sneaking a bite is not so noticeable if not allowed to eat where ever. Quick heat up meals, soup etc can get you through a long night. I hope some of this helps.