Medical of Diabetes, Asthma, Thyroid & BP in the Merchant Navy

We know well that it is not easy to become a seafarer. Clearing the written examination and appearing for medicals is a task. After that getting into the right college and a good shipping company is also important for a seafarer’s career. But many times, aspiring sailors make the mistake of ignoring issues related to their health and get rejected in their medicals even after performing well academically. Read this blog till the end to learn more about medical conditions that can pose a problem during your medical examination in the merchant navy. 

medical test
Medical Test


This is a chronic health condition that affects how your body turns food into energy. There are mainly 2 types of diabetes that are tested in the medical examination of the Merchant Navy :

  • TYPE 1 Diabetes –  Suppose you are sailing on a ship and suddenly start experiencing blurry visions accompanied by fatigue. Even after getting needful rest, your medical condition keeps on deteriorating. Later you have to leave your contract in the middle due to your health. After getting a full body checkup, you are diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and are asked to take insulin injections as medication to keep your sugar level in check. 
Type 1 diabetes symptoms
Type 1 diabetes symptoms

In this case, Merchant Navy will disqualify the seafarer if he takes insulin as a medication for his/her diabetes. This is because insulin injections can pose a risk to the development of hypoglycemia. However, insulin diabetes can directly lead to rejection in the medicals of the Merchant Navy; some companies put a criterion of 3 salts as a medication for Type 1 diabetes. The condition is your diabetes should get managed with the help of medicines, and no insulin should be used onboard.

  • Type 2 Diabetes – About 90-95% of people with diabetes have type 2. It develops over many years and is usually diagnosed in adults with an inactive lifestyle. You may not notice any symptoms, so it’s important to get your blood sugar tested if you’re at risk. If you are an aspiring seafarer and have type 2 diabetes, you will be disqualified from the medicals. On the other hand, if you are an in-service sailor, you are eligible to sail if your medical condition can be managed properly with medicines provided by healthcare professionals.
symptoms of type 2 diabetes
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes


If you are a seafarer suffering from asthma, you might face several difficulties on the ship, like suffocation in any enclosed space like the engine room. Hence, the medical standards issued by the government of India allow only in-service seafarers with breathing problems that can be managed well with the help of medicines. In contrast, the freshers are rejected if they are diagnosed with asthma or any related issues while getting a medical checkup for the merchant navy.

Asthma medical


In the Merchant Navy medicals, if a candidate’s thyroid condition can be managed without medicine on the ship, then he/she is eligible to join the Merchant Navy. For in-service sailors, there should be no imminent risk to health. 

Thyroid medical

Blood Pressure 

As a seafarer, if you have high blood pressure levels, then it is possible that you are at risk of heart disease, stroke, and heart attack. A normal blood pressure level is 120/80 mmHg. For seafarers joining the merchant navy, their blood pressure should be below 150/90. If you are a 40-year-old in-service seafarer, your blood pressure should be less than 160/100, and if your age is above 50 years, then it should be less than 175/100. This relaxation is given to the sailors with the condition that states – The blood pressure should remain in check with the help of medicines that are not more than 2 salts. 

Blood Pressure medical
Blood pressure test

However, blood pressure can be managed with the help of positive changes in lifestyle and food habits. If you are having any doubts related to your BP, it is important that you consult a cardiologist and get yourself checked. 

Disclaimer :- The opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author and may not necessarily reflect those of Merchant Navy Decoded. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information provided and disclaim any responsibility for it. Data and visuals used are sourced from publicly available information and may not be authenticated by any regulatory body. Reviews and comments appearing on our blogs represent the opinions of individuals and do not necessarily reflect the views of Merchant Navy Decoded. We are not responsible for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on these reviews or comments.

Reproduction, copying, sharing, or use of the article or images in any form is strictly prohibited without prior permission from both the author and Merchant Navy Decoded.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Sir I hade asthama ! And I want to join marchent nevy gp rating ! And I use in helar so I don’t pass madical ?


What is the normal thyroid level to join navy

Aman Manwal

Hey Upasana, you can check out our free Medical Series with Dr Sooraj Rana who is DG certified.