1st November marks the start of Diabetes Awareness Month. In the UK, and elsewhere around the World, people will be encouraged to “turn November Blue” in acknowledgement of diabetes awareness.
Diabetes is a progressive, non-communicable disease. It is more likely in over 40 year olds, for those with a family history of the condition, and those who are overweight. It can be caused primarily by a sedentary lifestyle, an increasing consumption of sugars and starches in our diets, which lead to obesity and an increasing difficulty in controlling blood sugar levels.
Diabetes remains within the top 5 causes of crew failing the PEME prior to employment. Non-insulin dependent diabetes can be controlled by diet, weight reduction and/or medication. Crew with controlled diabetes may be deemed fit for sea service with medication. However, if there is any doubt about the management of the condition or any complications arising from the diabetes the crew may be made temporarily unfit until such a time when the condition is under control.
Like many illnesses early detection, correct diagnosis and management of Diabetes is essential in ensuring the long healthy life of the sufferer. Education about the risk factors is recommended and often the pre-employment medical examination will be the first opportunity for detecting of newly diagnosed insulin dependent crew.
Earlier in our Crew Health Advice series Dr. Marcus Brauer of our approved clinic in Cape Town, South Africa created the attached article about Diabetes.
For further information on this and other Crew Health advice, please see our dedicated webpage here.