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Diabetes Control May Be Tougher For Night-Shift Workers, Study Reveals [VIDEO]

Update Date: Apr 06, 2017 07:40 AM EDT
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People living with diabetes might want to think twice before taking that graveyard shift job. A study revealed that diabetes control is more difficult for night shift workers.

Dr. Sirimon Reutrakul and his colleagues at Mahidol University Faculty of Medicine in Bangkok, Thailand looked at the medical records of 260 participants in Thailand. They examined how well these people were able to control their blood sugar using the data from their A1C test. The investigators found that the average A1C of night shift workers with type 2 diabetes was higher than the ideal level for people with this condition.

The hemoglobin A1C test is a type of test which gives information about a person's blood glucose in the past two to three months. The volunteers in the research consisted of 104 unemployed people, 94 working in day shifts and 62 night-shift workers.

Compared to the unemployed and the day shift workers, the participants working in graveyard shifts had a significantly higher A1C. Moreover, their body mass index (BMI) which is the estimated body fat based on a person's height and weight, was higher. They also slept less and consumed more calories in their diet. It showed how diabetes control is tougher for night shift workers.

There was insufficient information from studies in the past about the impact of working the night shift on people living with type 2 diabetes, and this research has shed light on the challenges these individuals face.

The researchers recommended that some methods for managing blood glucose levels such as that which helps improve circadian misalignment be explored. It refers to the interference to the internal body clock caused by sleep disruption, a situation night shift workers experience more often, the EurekAlert reported.

It helps to manage this condition by watching their carbohydrate intake. Carbs rich in fiber is a better choice especially when it is coupled with protein from sources such as nuts.

Regular exercise can help keep blood sugar lower. It is also recommended that blood glucose checks be done at random, and monitoring blood pressure and cholesterol be done as well, according to WebMD.

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