Type 1 or 2 diabetes can present individuals with obstacles in their everyday lives. These challenges could increase when we’re under stress – or experiencing a significant life change. Another concern that emerges is managing T1D or T2D in the workplace. The office can be overwhelming enough on its own, but living with diabetes could be a new stress level for this setting, especially if we don’t have a plan.
Below are five suggestions to better manage Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes while at work for everybody, from the knowledgeable to the newbies.
Be Open With Everyone About Your Diabetic Challenges
Living with T1D for 12 years, I try to inform people about my condition as frequently as possible. I started working full-time at age 23 and did not realize just how difficult it would be to have a job and be a Type 1 diabetic. I found that I was reluctant to confide with colleagues and managers until diabetes was discussed or noticed.
It would be best if you were candid and straightforward from the beginning of the hiring process. It’s important to discuss your illness and conditions with new management. You shouldn’t feel threatened with disclosing your particular disease to your employer; feel free to discuss your situation. You can describe or clarify your illness and see if you are a good fit for this particular employment position.
T1D is an illness that is not understood enough; informing the people around you will enlighten them to the world of diabetes and leave an informational imprint on them. Remember, if you choose not to tell coworkers of your condition, you can place yourself at risk.
Have A Good Safe Place To Take Your Medications Or Insulin Shots
Let’s face it, many individuals could be afraid of needles and may also associate needles with illegal drugs. Needles are not often seen in the workplace and can be misinterpreted, and maybe downright scary, eerie, causing nervousness or anxiety if seen by others.
As an employee with diabetes, I require a safe area to control my blood sugar spikes, whether with snacks, laying down on a bed to rest, or administering insulin injections with medical needles. Moreover, you may sometimes need to poke needles into your thighs or lower abdomen. Private safe areas to take care of these needs are imperative for diabetes management.
Don’t Downplay Diabetes And Its Effects
Now, while all of us with troubled blood glucose levels know that diabetes is just another day in our lives, it’s essential to identify that downplaying this condition can be dangerous – the importance of letting people know the effects of low blood sugar or hypoglycemia at work. You would be protecting yourself by doing this, so do not minimize it! Keep it light yet make it a significant discussion.
People are mostly curious and receptive to understanding more. Let your coworkers know if you need a break at specific times of the day, especially if you have hypoglycemia. Be sure to discuss the meaning of low blood sugar levels and options in case of emergency.
Be Prepared And Stock Up
Having diabetes, whether type 1 or 2, you should always be prepared to have juices, candy bars, and treats at hand to help with a severe case of low blood glucose. A fridge is still your best friend in time of need, so make sure to stock diabetic supplies that can be readily available. You may also need to have additional supplies near your work desk or work area for blood glucose emergencies. Furthermore, it’s a great idea to have prepared an action plan with your health care provider, for when you start to feel unwell. This way, you’d feel more in control of the situation since we all know that managing diabetes during sick days or unwell moments, can feel scary if you are not prepared.
Checking And Routine Monitoring
Routine blood sugar monitoring remains the most effective way to manage type 1 or type 2 diabetes. You’ll be capable of recognizing what makes your meter numbers go up or down, such as ingesting various foods or being physically active and taking your medicine as needed.
Informing your health care team about your job and its requirements can help them make effective decisions for your best diabetes care strategy in the workplace. These adjustments can benefit, delay or prevent diabetes complications such as heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, and amputation.
Monitoring and studying your blood sugar should be routine. This is very important during your workday. Many situations can arise to affect your blood sugar numbers, so having diabetes tracking software such as the one I use is essential. Have a look at the Diabetes:M app as it has numerous helpful functionalities.
I can’t allow diabetes mellitus to take me too far from my comfort zone, not even for a moment. If you need to leave a workspace, a conference room, or have an occasional break to get a breather, don’t be afraid to do so, it’s not a bad thing!
By adding these five ideas to your regimen, you’ll reap the benefits of security and assurance. In the meantime, you’ll be raising an understanding of T1D and T2D. I call that a victory!
John Rossi is a Stem Cell transplant Survivor, keynote speaker, T1D dad, and writer who resides in Toronto, Canada. John has written many articles in the Health and Wellness Industry.