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Shift Work

Discussion in 'Jobs and Employment' started by Brie912, Jul 16, 2018.

  1. Brie912

    Brie912 · Active Member

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    Hi, I've recently found out I have T2. I think I'm starting to manage it well and am feeling better after a couple of weeks of exhaustion due to the low carb diet. I'm still trying to learn how to manage diabetes and my active job with 13 hour shifts and nights. I told my manager a couple of weeks ago (who told someone else, who told everyone) and although she keeps saying we'll have a chat about shift patterns, that's not happened. Next week I'm due to do 60+ hours because I agreed to swap shifts 2 months ago before I knew I had diabetes and felt ok. Now, I don't know if I could manage that. The other day we were so busy I didn't get lunch until 4pm and missed my last break and certainly had no time to test my blood sugar. Last week after an 8 hour shift I was so tired I had to stop for a nap on the way home. All of this wouldn't have been a problem a month ago before I was diagnosed and went low carb. I don't know what to do with myself. I love my job and I want to do my best but the shift patterns are crazy and I'm so tired sometimes I feel I can't give it my all and I feel like I'm letting down my colleagues. I'm not sure what to do. I don't want to make a fuss. I know I should probably speak to occupational health. Anyone else successfully manage diabetes and shift work?
     
  2. Diakat

    Diakat Type 1 · Moderator
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    Are you on any medication or diet only?
     
  3. Brie912

    Brie912 · Active Member

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    Metformin and low carb diet
     
  4. Diakat

    Diakat Type 1 · Moderator
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    @Rachox or @bulkbiker may have suggestions. My best guess is a bit more fat for energy and perhaps making sure you are getting enough salt.
     
  5. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Master

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    My first question would be are you eating enough?
    What does a typical day's food look like?
     
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  6. Rachox

    Rachox Type 2 (in remission!) · Moderator
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    I used to work shifts but that was before my diabetes diagnosis so can’t help on that score. However as @bulkbiker says let us know what you eat in a typical day, we may be able to tweak it a bit to help with energy levels.
     
  7. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Moderator
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    Hi :)

    Could you also give a bit of an indication about what your job involves?

    As examples, a shift working line worker wouldn't have access to snacks on the factory floor, whereas a late night Call Centre worker probably could. My partner does some very antisocial shift patterns, but he can eat when he likes, most of the time, although it needs to be finger food that he can grab and eat without the phaff of a knife, fork and plate.

    Low Carbing shouldn't, if well formulated, cause tiredness and exhaustion, especially weeks after switching to it, so maybe you are short of electrolytes (salt, magnesium and potassium). The recent heat may also be affecting you, and increasing hydration may help.

    Are you trying for weight loss at the same time as switching your way of eating? Sometimes the calorie deficit can make us feel very limp and floppy, rather than the change in food types.
     
  8. Brie912

    Brie912 · Active Member

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    I work in a hospital on a busy ward, on my feet all day helping with personal care, pushing patients around and healthcare stuff. On a 13 hour day shift I get 3 x 30 minute breaks (if it's not too busy) but I'm not allowed water or snacks at the nurses station so can only get a drink if I get a free moment. For breakfast I've been having berries and yoghurt but I'm adding in 2 slices of rye bread on work days. First break is normally apple and cheese or an avocado. Second break will be something like chilli and cauliflower rice or roasted cauliflower with veg or stir fry veg with quorn chicken. Third break I've been having salad with quorn sausages. On a night shift I have a similar breakfast, check blood sugar and have a snack like an apple before I start and then my break can be anywhere from 4-8 hours into the shift so I bring another snack like a low carb nut bar that I can eat at the nurses station (night shift is more relaxed so I can have water). And then I have a coffee drink, which does have some sugar in it.

    I am "trying" to lose weight but because my job is so active and I'm not eating junk food now I'm not really having to try. Lost half a stone in the last month. As for salt, I think I'm getting enough because I'm vegetarian and quorn has loads of salt. I've not been counting calories or carbs because that's effort and I tend to obsess a little about that sort of thing. Also my liver function test was abnormal and I'm bruising easily so I'm expecting to be told I have fatty liver disease or something. I don't know if that could be contributing.

    Besides avocados and coconut, I'm not really sure what other vegetarian fats there are. I could have full fat milk and sugar free cocoa powder.
     
  9. DCUKMod

    DCUKMod I reversed my Type 2 · Expert
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    Don't have anything low fat would be my instant advice, and rather than eating an apple, which likely gives you a sgar hit, then leaves you wanting more, I'd maybe add some cream to the yoghurt at brreakfast, or if you don't "do" crream, add some cocnut cream. If you must eat something beforre you start your shift, then a chunk of cheese would be my way forward. If it needs to be "neat", you could have babybel or those portion sized wrapped packages from the supermarket.

    I'd also ditch the sugar in the coffee. If you feel you need the calories, then coffee with cream would do that, plus be low carb.

    Most people fine their bodies can adjust to that level of LC, if they stick with it, and ensure they have enough ccalories and enough fluids. This hot weather adds another dimension, but fluid management and ensuuring you have enough salt is likely to care for that.
     
  10. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Moderator
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    I would say that to keep your energy steady with a schedule like that, they you need to be eating very well indeed - and eating enough fat. Because it offers lovely slow release energy. If you have dropped carbs, then you need to replace their energy with something, and for low carbers, that is usually healthy fats.

    Mayo on salads (Helmans is made with rapeseed oil, which is lovely and high in omega 3s)
    Olive oil in cooking and on salads (the Pioppi healthy Mediterranean diet recommends 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil every single day, on top of any other fats used in cooking)
    Coconut oil for cooking
    And butter, of course. Wonderful stuff, butter.

    Have you discovered low carb baking yet? Usually uses nut flours, eggs and cream. So rather high in calories, but always slow release, good fats and just keeps giving in terms of steady energy release. We end up eating small portions, and using them as a meal substitute, which might fit your schedule very well indeed.
    To be honest, with your work schedule I doubt you can be bothered to phaff around with much food prep, but some of these recipes really are worth the effort - and they freeze exceedingly well.
    https://www.ditchthecarbs.com/category/desserts-and-cakes/
    My husband sometimes has low carb cake for breakfast (mainly nuts and egg and dairy, so hardly the kind of thing that people think would be a nutritional diaster for breakfast!), and finds that it sustains him all morning.

    I wouldn't rely on the salt in foods to give you enough, certainly when you are still adapting. Add a pinch of salt to cooking, and maybe have a cup of veg buillion (sp?) as a hot drink once a day. Low salt thinking is rarely helpful to low carbers.
    Symptoms such as fatique, floppiness, apathy, dizzyness and lethargy can sometimes be relieved in 10 minutes by drinking a cup of veg broth.

    This is a commonsense link that may help (although i doubt if the comments about high protein will be relevant to you)
    https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/5-most-common-low-carb-mistakes#section5
     
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  11. pon 2

    pon 2 Type 1 · Newbie

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    Hi, I do a combination of 12 hour days and nights and overtime, although I am a type 1 I find that as long as I eat approximately every 5 or 6 hours I don't have any problems. the only issue I have is when I start my night shift I cant sleep on the 1st day so I end up eating more than usual but it's never really caused me any problems.
    I am site based and nearly always take my own food and snacks to work so I don't have the problem of trying to find a meal and I have always got a packet of dextrose tabs and a snack in my pocket just in case I get stuck on a job and cant get away.
    clearly, your circumstances are different from mine and from what you say it seems as though your employer could be a bit more helpful but you will get there. cheers
     
  12. Brie912

    Brie912 · Active Member

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    Thanks everyone! It's just strange getting your head around how high carb or high fat is the way to go when you've always been told the opposite. I've found a recipe for coconut "Bounty" bars that are delicious and high in fat and calories and blueberry muffins with coconut flour. I think I'm going to be doing a lot of baking!
     
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  13. binman1234

    binman1234 Type 2 · Member

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    Find out what the law says about Diabeters and work
     
  14. Australiadiabetic2

    Australiadiabetic2 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Drink more water ! You will find you feel less tired , the metmorfin seems to make me drink less and i got tired until i drank more.

    Im surprised you cant have a small bottle of water at the nurses station ?

    I use to see nurses all the time with small bottles of water when i was in hospital.
     
  15. Ralphietype1

    Ralphietype1 Type 1 · Newbie

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    How do you find being type one, and doing shift work. Did you manage it all ok.
     
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