Diabetes management: it’s a task that sounds tedious but is critical to ongoing wellness for those afflicted with the disease. Let’s look at one diabetic’s story and pointers on how to handle your diabetes in the workplace.
Michael Eisenstein is a publisher who works for the American Diabetes Association and is himself a diabetic. He is actually surrounded by this life-altering disease not just with his work but with his home life: his father, wife, and one of his daughters all suffer from type 2 diabetes.
When Michael’s glucose tolerance was tested as a teenager, his doctor informed him that its results, along with his family history, suggested he would develop the disease in the years to come. “[Seventeen] years ago my internist diagnosed me with type 2 diabetes,” he says. “However, I got my head together and started eating right and working out five days a week at a gym.”
In other words, knowing how devastating things could become, Michael became serious early about diabetes management and has been largely successful in halting progression of the disease.
Tips for diabetes management at work
Although Eisenstein did have to make various lifestyle adjustments to optimize his health, one part was easy: he works from home. What about those of us who have to head to the office or other workplaces each day? Here is some advice:
- Speak with your co-workers: It’s essentially “no one’s business” that you have the disease. However, it is important to protect yourself by letting a couple co-workers know how to tell if you are experiencing low blood sugar so they can take appropriate action.
- Find out about accommodations: You may want to speak with your boss about accommodations so that your performance remains strong every day. An example is dividing up your breaks into shorter ones so that you can get snacks and check your glucose more regularly.
- Blood sugar checks: Preparation is key for workplace blood sugar checks, notes Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokeswoman Vandana Sheth. "Have all of your supplies organized and know that it can be done in a subtle manner," she says. "If you… take insulin, ensure that you take it on schedule and that it's kept at the right temperature."
- Breakfast & snacks: Make sure you always eat a healthy breakfast. It can help to get that meal ready the night before so you aren’t rushing out the door without it. Along the same lines, pack healthy snacks so you don’t end up making bad choices at the company vending machine.
Are you struggling with the day-to-day challenges of living with diabetes? At Envista Medical, we use a multidisciplinary approach to manage your diabetes and get you back to a healthy life. Contact us to learn more.