Could Losing Your Job Trigger Diabetes?

Could Losing Your Job Trigger Diabetes: Many Americans are becoming all too familiar with the term, “Pink Slip.”  Jobless rates are higher than they’ve been in a very long time, and once stable employment is now anything but.

There have been wise men and women throughout the years that say stress will show up physically. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but if you worry long enough there will be physical issues that reveal themselves.

Stress can make itself known in things like the loss of a loved one, the physical relocation of a family or even the knowledge that you or a loved one has a precarious medical situation. Experts have said that some stress may not be a bad thing, but long-term accumulated or harsh and sudden stress can break down defenses and usher in life altering medical side effects due to stress.

The Harvard School of Public Health recently conducted a study on the impact of job loss and the onset of medical difficulties including diabetes. Interestingly this study provides two interesting, yet opposite findings. The first is that individuals with medical difficulties might be the first to be ‘let go’ in an economic crisis. On the other hand an individual who may appear in good health can develop profound medical issues following a release from their job.



An MSNBC report indicates, “Those who lost their job — white or blue collar — through no fault of their own (for example, if their employer closed its doors) the odds of reporting fair or poor health increased by 54 percent. Among respondents with no pre-existing health conditions, it increased the odds of a new health condition by 83 percent.”

The stress of losing a job can be compounded by trying to find a new job. This can be further aggravated by having to learn a new job. This may be most traumatic for those who lost their job unexpectedly as opposed to those who were actively seeking a job change for personal reasons.

The MSNBC report indicates the following health concerns among those losing jobs in the current economic climate.

Currently this leaves 5.7 million jobless Americans at risk for future health issues like the ones listed above. This may be the long-term cost of a recession. We may feel some of the effects now, but there will continue to be a payment required long into the future.

Working to reduce stress is always important, but even more so during troubled times.

Adding to the trouble is the fact that normally healthy individuals will often deviate from their normal food intake and exercise patterns. The reason for the change may be due to the need for a second job, lack of available funds to purchase the food that might be a better choice for their overall health, and a shifting of interest from looking at life in a ‘big picture’ kind of way to just trying to get through another day.

The consequences for this shift may prove important in rising diabetes diagnoses. As depression becomes more common there may be an even greater instance of diabetes in the United States and around the world.

If possible you should work to reduce your stress as much as possible and work with your health care provider to establish a plan to keep you in the greatest feasible health during and after this recession.

It may seem easier to simply let your health go, but there are always consequences for every action. When it comes to diabetes it is best to place an emphasis on avoidance whenever possible.