Diabetes - Type 1 Community
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Diabetic Disqualifications

Hello, I am a 15 year old type 1 Diabetic, Ive had this disease for about 8 years now. Recently I found out that I can NOT do a lot of jobs that I wanted to do when I got older.

Examples: 1. (this is what I really wanted to do) Diabetics can not join ANY branch of the army, not even non-combat positions. 2. (Alternative) I can not be a pilot of any type, so there go's air force. 3. I can not be a police officer, which is something I was really looking into for a while until I found out.

Look, I know someones going to respond to this saying "there are thousands of other careers out there for you", but I really don't want those careers at all, I really want to do something that is military or police related, Ive even been asking people who used to be in it what it was like.

It may sound like a childish thing of me to say "oh I want to be a cop when I grow up!", but really I want to do those kind of things.

I know I'm still very young and all, but Ive practically have made up my mind, there's nothing else I really want to do.

Basically, what I'm here for is to find out whether or not that this is true, if anyone knows about these disqualifications for certain jobs a type 1 diabetic can not do.

15 Responses
Avatar universal
I am not a physician, but the mom of a type one diabetic.  I can tell you that for most of the jobs that you have named you are right.   Diabetes will disqualify you.  I have researched this before  for others and it is true that the  military , , police and fire fighters are not allowed to have diabetes, because if you have a low you are not only  putting your self in danger but  others as well.

I would suggest that you discuss with your school guidance counselor some other options that might be available to you that would be as important as these jobs. Like EMT, nurse doctor.

I hope this helps.
Avatar universal
I hate my life.
Avatar universal
Wow, you folks who have responded sure know how to lay on the sarcasm! I hope that the sarcasm is an attempt to lighten up TacoLoverMatthew's grim attitude and is not done in meanness. I must say that I totally sympathize -- It IS hard to find out that diabetes may keep us from achieving a dream. Most of us never have to deal with diabetes making any of our dreams impossible. I have certainly been able to achieve my career goals and diabetes has not been a factor, for my dream was to be a graphic artist, and I am not hindered by diabetes in this quest. But in the case of armed services, police, and firefighters, I believe that TacoLoverMatthew is correct and that they will not hire a type 1 diabetic person. I happen to be married to a career Air Force officer, and I have known one or two people who developed type 1 diabetes and who were allowed to stay in the military, but both had non-combat jobs such as doctor. I do not know of any military people who were already diagnosed as type 1 diabetics before they joined.

I think that before you get depressed, you should make some phone calls. Call your local military recruiter  and ASK; and also call your local police HR person and ask if there is any way that a type 1 diabetic person could be hired. I suspect that the answer will be "no", but a phone call is the only way to find out for sure. Part of what you are dealing with is the uncertainty of not knowing for sure.

If the answer is indeed "no" as we think it will be, then grieve over it for a while. That's OK -- you have lost a dream. But the beauty of human nature is that we are able to adjust to ANYTHING. Let yourself be sad about it for a while, and then put your energy into researching other possibilities. This sounds trite, but it is not meant to be. A healthy emotional response to disappointment is to allow it to sadden us for a period of time, and then we rally and find other goals to reach for. Humans are amazingly good at adapting, and those of us who have type 1 diabetes, and have had it since childhood already know a lot about adapting emotionally.

I would suggest that you spend some time talking with your high school guidance counselor NOW. Don't wait until you are  a senior and are about to graduate. High school guidance counselors usually are very well trained at helping people to identify career interests -- there are tests that you can take that show where your strengths and weaknesses are and how they fit into various career paths. Many jobs do not have any kind of physical limitations. And most jobs that offer health insurance offer it without any problems for type 1 diabetic people. There may be some other type of security job that you can pursue as a type 1 diabetic, and your energy needs to move towards researching other jobs that deal with security, since this seems to be the basic thing you are interested in. Check out FBI or CIA
Avatar universal
It's ok, these guys are all burn victims in real life, after attempted suicide.  So they're a bit jealous. :P

But other than that, thank you for responding (was just messing about the whole "I hate my life" thing :D.

Actually, secret service or FBI does sound very interesting to me, problem is, is that I can't consult my high school counselor for a bit, but oh well.

But in all seriousness, thank you, I really appreciate this information.

Avatar universal
To the person who doesnt think that he cant do anything because he has diabetes, thats wrong dont ever settle for anything less for your self, go do anything you want to do! im a firefighter and i have type 1 diabetes, so no one can tell you that you cant do something because you have diabetes!!
Avatar universal
This is to the 15-yr. old guy that wants to be a police officer..... what state are you in?  I'm 34 and developed type I when I was 14 from a flu virus. I'm in great shape and monitor my blood sugar regularly. I attended the police academy for 10 wks. and now I'm a full-time police officer currently, and attending SWAT training next month. And yes they knew in the academy I was diabetic, and at the police dept. also.l also scuba dive and have advanced certifications in this sport. I kayak, mtn. bike, workout, run 2-3 miles a day, and dare someone to tell me I can't function my job duties without a hitch.......I just have to work harder at my control, but it keeps my mind focused 100% of the time. Who whoever tells ( or tries to discriminate against you ) tell them to take a hike. You can do anything you well please provided you take excellent care of yourself.....that is the key.
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