Shift workers at higher risk of diabetes
Unusual working hours or erratic ‘shift’ culture, such as rotational shifts or prolonged night shifts, can put employees at an increased higher risk of developing type-2 diabetes than those having a regular daytime schedule
Hyderabad: Unusual working hours or erratic 'shift' culture, such as rotational shifts or prolonged night shifts, can put employees at an increased higher risk of developing type-2 diabetes than those having a regular daytime schedule. One of the main reasons for this increased risk is the disruption of circadian rhythms or the body's internal clock. The human body has a natural sleep-wake cycle regulated by the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) in the hypothalamus, responsible for the production of melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep. When the body's natural sleep-wake cycle gets disrupted, it can lead to several negative effects on health, including increased insulin resistance and decreased glucose tolerance, further leading to type-2 diabetes.
Citing the negative impact of unusual working hours, Dr Rakesh Sahay, President Elect, National RSSDI, explains, "Shift work has been also linked to various other risk factors for diabetes, such as poor diet and lack of physical activity. Individuals who work unusual hours often have less time to prepare healthy meals and may be more likely to turn to fast food or convenience foods, which are high in calories, sugar, and saturated fats. They also may have less time for regular physical activity, which is crucial for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels."
For individuals who work unusual hours, it is important to be aware of the risks and take the required steps to maintain a healthy lifestyle, including regular physical activity, a healthy diet, regular check-ups and adequate sleep to avoid developing typ-2 diabetes, he adds.