How Might Diabetes Affect My Ability To Work, And Are There Certain Jobs I Should Consider Over Others?

Dr. Al Powers answers the question: 'How Might Diabetes Affect My Work?'

ByAl Powers, M.D., Endocrinologist & Director, Vanderbilt Diabetes Center

— -- Question: How might diabetes affect my ability to work, and are there certain jobs I should consider over others?

Answer: People that have diabetes can do almost every job that anyone who doesn't have diabetes can do. For example, people who have diabetes perform at the very highest level are professional baseball players, professional football players, politicians, a number of occupations. So the fact that you have diabetes, or the fact that you take insulin, doesn't disqualify you from almost all professions.

However, you have to take into consideration your diabetes when you're conducting your work. For example, people who have diabetes often have to administer insulin or check their blood glucose while they're at their job. So this needs to be done in a discrete fashion where they're comfortable doing that. Some patients that have diabetes are comfortable with everyone in their workplace knowing they have diabetes. Other patients only like to have certain people know that they have diabetes.

I think it's important that someone at your place of work know that you have diabetes in case if you had hypoglycemia, or low blood glucose, that they would know that you were diabetic and they could take the appropriate steps.

By law there are certain jobs that people with diabetes and who take insulin can't perform. For example, one can't be a commercial airline pilot and there's certain restrictions in terms of driving commercial vehicles such as long distance trucks and buses. But other than that, most jobs can be done very well by a person with diabetes.

Next: Does My Employer Have To Know About My Diabetes Before Or While I Am Employed?

Previous: How Does Diabetes Affect Male Hormones?

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events