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THE G.I. FACTOR: ANSWERED QUESTIONS

May 8th, 2009 Posted in Diabetes | No Comments »

Are G.I. factors tested on healthy people valid for use in people with diabetes?

Yes, there are several studies which show a good correlation between values for the same foods obtained in healthy people and people with diabetes (type 1 and type 2). This is no surprise because the degree of glucose intolerance is allowed for in the calculation of G.I. factors.

Do low G.I. foods need to be eaten at every meal in order for people to see a benefit?

No, because the effect of a low G.I. food carries over to the next meal, reducing its glycaemic impact. This applies even when the low G.I. meal is eaten for dinner. Its effect carries over to breakfast the following morning. But, it is sensible to try to eat at least two low G.I. meals each day.

One study gave carrots a G.I. factor of 95. Does this mean that a person with diabetes shouldn’t eat carrots?

The quantity of carrots that gives the 50 grams of carbohydrate portion (as required in standardised G.I. factor testing) is enormous because it contains only about 7 per cent carbohydrate. In fact, about 700 grams of carrots were tested. This is much greater than the amount you would normally eat (about 100 grams).

Even with a G.I. factor of 95, a normal serve of carrots would contribute only a small amount to the rise in blood sugar. Carrots and other foods like tomatoes, onions and salad vegetables that contain only a small amount of carbohydrate should be seen as ‘free’ foods for people with diabetes.

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DIABETES: QUESTIONS ABOUT JOBS

April 28th, 2009 Posted in Diabetes | No Comments »

Will there be difficulties in getting a job?

Almost certainly not. Almost all careers and jobs are open to persons with diabetes. Some jobs are clearly unsuitable for people with diabetes and it would be unwise to attempt to do them. Examples include being a commercial airline pilot or joining the armed services. In some jobs it would be difficult to keep in good diabetic control and an example of this is taxi driving or long distance truck driving, where it might be impossible to have regular meals.

On the other hand, you may encounter employers who are prejudiced against any kind of medical disorder and in such cases if you really wish to obtain a job there, you must convince your employer that diabetes will not interfere with your efficiency in the job. Perhaps Diabetes Australia can help you in this situation, and your doctor could provide you with a certificate.

Whether you volunteer that you have diabetes to any potential employer or not is largely up to you. By doing so, you are keeping faith with your prospective employer and it makes it easier for him to accept the occasional time off for a medical check-up or illness. At all events it is necessary for someone working with you to know about it in case you need help.

Often there is no problem at all, but you should discuss with your doctor if you are in any doubt. A youth employment officer (vocational guidance officer) may be of help, as he will know a wide range of employment agencies that can be approached if diabetes does seem to have created difficulties with employment.

In general, and except in certain categories of employment, people with diabetes do not have trouble in getting a good job but you should not be discouraged if one or two employers should turn you down because of your diabetes.

When I apply for a job, must I tell my prospective employer that I have diabetes?

It is difficult to generalize about this except to say that you must be truthful at all times if you wish to hold a secure and a good job. For some occupations you will be asked to provide a medical certificate. If you have to fill in a form or if your doctor has to fill in a form for you, then it is clear that you must state the fact of diabetes. You can ask your doctor to give a certificate to go with this form, making a statement about your health and whether it is likely to interfere with your ability to carry out the job. If you are asked if you have any physical or medical complaints then clearly you must say that you have diabetes. You can qualify this by saying that you are perfectly well, that you have not missed school because of it and that you are prepared to get a medical certificate about it.

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