In recent times, the rate of diabetes has increased to an alarming level. According to a 2019 study, 1-in-8 new cases of type 2 diabetes is occurring in 18-to-40-year-old adults vs. 1-in-10 in 2000. Diabetes is a condition that affects how your body converts food into energy.
It mainly manifests in either of three forms:
Type 1 (usually diagnosed in kids, teens, and young adults; 5-10% of the diabetics)
Type 2 (diagnosed in adults; 90-95% of diabetics)
Gestational diabetes (occur in pregnancy)
Many factors- sometimes uncontrollable- may change your blood sugar level. Thus, diabetes can affect many aspects of your life. Diabetics may not necessarily need to switch jobs or workplaces. However, it sometimes gets challenging to manage your career and your diabetes.
There can be episodes of hypo or hyperglycemia (sudden drop or spike in blood sugar levels). You may also experience fatigue, blurred vision, confusion, and slowed thinking. Stress- an inevitable at work- is also bad for your diabetes management.
“Knowledge is the key that can turn obstacles into opportunities. The more you know about your diabetes, and the more you know about controlling your blood sugars, the better off you’ll be.” ~ Lauren Golden (MD, endocrinologist, diabetes specialist)
Read on to find a few tips to manage diabetes at your job.
1. Have A Healthy Start:
Breakfast- a healthy one- is the focal point of your sugar levels on a workday. Get a nutritious breakfast of your choice- omelet, cereal, or yogurt. It will keep your glucose in check.
“When you have diabetes, skipping breakfast can lead to dangerously low sugar levels. It can impact your health, safety, and often your job performance too.” ~Samantha Heller, a nutrition advisor at JourneyForControl.com, a diabetes education site.
2. Talk About It:
According to research, people with diabetes miss work two to three times more than the general population. Confiding in your manager may help you work out a flexible work routine.
Tell them what happens when the blood sugar level has a spike or drops. Also, inform them of any treatment needed in such a situation. You can also request beaks to check your sugar levels, administer insulin, or have a quick snack.
When low on sugar, you can get frustrated, cranky, and unproductive. Knowing about your situation, your work peers may understand- and help- you better.
3. Be Mindful Of What You Eat:
Your eating choices literally dictate your blood sugar level. Make yourself homemade lunch and snacks for the day. Include such food items in your lunch that regulate the blood sugar levels. There are proven benefits of apple cider vinegar, yogurt, fish, and vegetables for diabetes.
Make your food potion small to avoid any unexpected surge of sugar levels. Keep some healthy snacks at hand- nuts, protein bars, veggies, ACV gummies. You can also go for some healthy drinks, such as green tea, unsweetened ice tea, or apple cider vinegar for diabetes.
4. Use a CGM:
CGM- Continuous Glucose Monitor- is a medical device that can check your blood sugar all day. Your doctor would attach a small sensor under your skin. You would get the results on the monitor. It will also alert you if levels are too high or too low.
It is a good choice for people who can’t afford regular breaks to check glucose levels. Keep the monitor in your pocket and watch out for any emergency.
5. Move Around:
Movement matters a lot! Even if you have a desk job, try to have some physical activity from time to time. Exercise is a great way to improve your health. It maintains blood sugar and blood pressure levels and reduces stress levels.
Exercise and being active make your body more sensitive to insulin, improving diabetes management. Go for a short walk after every few hours. Try to use the best footwear. Proper foot care is vital for people with diabetes, as they are more susceptible to foot complications. Diabetic socks are just one aspect of a comprehensive foot care regimen that includes regular foot inspections, proper footwear, and medical advice from a healthcare professional. Do stretches in your seat. Alternate between standing and sitting while working.
6. Reduce The Stressors:
Stress can be a triggering factor for your diabetes. It stimulates the release of several hormones, elevating the blood glucose level. While a healthy individual could regulate it, a diabetic may suffer from hyperglycemia.
Avoid stress at any cost at work and in general both. Get proper sleep, as lack of sleep is a major stress. When anxious about something, try breathing exercises to calm you down. Take a walk around, re-enforcing positive thoughts. Assure yourself that you are good and you have it all under control.
Managing diabetes at the office may seem hard, but it does not have to be. Learn what works for you the best and stick to it. Eat healthily, do exercise and try to work in a positive environment.