How to survive your police career

Tired & feeling run-down?

Tired & feeling run-down?

Type 2 We’re talking diabetes, unfortunately, not the iconic VW Van….

One of the chapters in our book is entitled “… I Thought I Felt Run Down Because Of The Shifts …” and covers cancers and other conditions where the main symptom is the type of fatigue that’s so normal with our manic 24/7 shift pattern that there’s a danger of us disregarding it as a sign that’s something’s wrong and so, inadvertently, allow a life-threatening condition to develop untreated. Type 2 Diabetes is one of the conditions discussed in the chapter and it’s worth understanding it as currently, depending on the research you read, between one person in every seventy and one in every hundred within the UK is walking around (or probably sitting on a sofa, actually, eating crisps) with undiagnosed Type 2. I wonder how many of these are police officers who just think the fatigue is something that comes with working rotating shifts?

The condition is caused by the pancreas being unable to produce sufficient insulin, and, as that insulin is vital for turning glucose from the food we eat into the fuel energy which makes our bodies work then you can see how things can easily go wrong if the system isn’t working as it should do.

Type 2 mostly develops in adults, generally over the age of forty, but can occur earlier. It’s the kind of condition that’s often seen, dare I say it, in people who have allowed themselves to slip into a state of tubbiness through inadequate exercise but more than adequate food. The resultant fat, especially if gathered around the waist, appears to make it harder for insulin to be deployed in the correct way that Nature intended. To be fair, you don’t always have to be big-boned to develop Type 2 – a family history of diabetes or even your ethnic make-up (Indian-Asians and African or African-Caribbeans are considerably more susceptible to Type 2 than White Europeans) could be the deciding factor – but it certainly seems to make you more prone to the condition.

Classic symptoms are:-

  • Unexplained weight (ironically) and muscle loss
  • Unexplained infections with your water-works, especially ones which are slow to heal.
  • Slow healing generally of wounds and bruising.
  • Frequent weeing, especially at night.
  • An increased general feeling of thirst.
  • Constant feeling of hunger (again, how ironic is that?)
  • A general sense of tiredness.
  • For chaps – possible problems achieving an erection.
  • Headaches.
  • Stomach pains.
  • Possible blurred vision.
  • Numbness or discomfort in the hands or feet.

If there is any doubt in your mind then have it checked out by your doctor. If you want an incentive then be aware that uncontrolled glucose levels associated with undiagnosed/untreated Type 2 can cause problems with your eyesight, kidneys, heart and blood vessels and/or leads to infections resulting in the amputation of limbs – you know, not trying to worry you or anything …


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