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The Conundrum of Dealing with Diabetes at Work

  By posted Aug 28th 2014
Healthy Living
Dr.Shalini Jaggi

Dr.Shalini Jaggi

Dr. Shalini Jaggi, Senior Consultant, Diabetology is currently associated with Paschim Vihar based Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute’s Action Diabetic Centre. Dr. Jaggi has a special training in handling CSII Insulin pumps and CGMS and is well versed with all aspects of diabetes management (outpatient as well as inpatient care including diabetic emergencies and foot care). A believer in holistic diabetes care, she has been actively involved in numerous diabetes awareness camps and programmes.

 

The Conundrum of Dealing with Diabetes at Work


We live in a fast paced world where people are tied down by social and moral obligations to society, ignoring their own health and well-being in the process. Most people spend most part of the day working in offices. They get engrossed in work and skip meals; while it won't harm others much, it can prove very harmful for diabetics. Diabetes is no joking matter. Diabetics have to be constantly aware of what they eat and drink, stress levels, activities they do etc. Managing all these factors becomes increasingly difficult at work.

 


A diabetic needs to snack at regular intervals to maintain blood sugar levels, take medications and check his/her levels regularly; these become increasingly difficult at work where the person gets caught up with work and cannot eat or take medication. This aggravates with people who work in shifts; they face problems such as constipation, diarrhoea, indigestion and heartburn due to the irregular times at which they eat. To avoid stigma at work, most diabetics let their sugar levels skyrocket during working hours letting diabetes management take the backseat.


The cause for diabetes is different in each person and other health factors such as cholesterol, weight etc. varies calling for a unique diabetes management plan for each person. Having diabetes doesn't mean they give up on the job they love. Small changes in the daily regimen can help manage diabetes as well as carry on with work unhindered. Follow these simple tips and watch sugar levels drop and productivity increase:

 

1. Maintain a diary recording all meals consumed, activities, work hours, sleep cycles, medications and blood sugar levels daily. This will show the pattern of sugar fluctuations and help make necessary adjustments.

 

2. Do not skip any meal; it only increases your blood sugar level and prompts weight gain.


3. Take medicines only after you have eaten a meal. Taking medication without food can cause blood sugar to drop and make you dizzy.

 

4. Don't snack at office parties; choose a salad or brown bread sandwich instead. Healthy snacks which are high in fibre digest slowly, releasing blood sugar gradually.


5. Keep sugar free biscuits and roasted nuts on your person always. Carry it to your long meetings and conferences. Snacking between big meals keeps sugar levels normalised.

 

6. A diabetic person should keep on stretching their feet at regular intervals and take short breaks. Getting up from the seat after every 2 hours and taking a walk around the working arena can be highly beneficial. Small physical activities can help lower blood pressure, blood glucose, bad cholesterol while keeping joints flexible and reducing the stress levels.


7. Carry a handy glucometer to work if you are on insulin and keep monitoring blood glucose levels.

 

8. Drink a lot of water throughout the day. Dehydration can raise blood sugar levels, increase risk of nerve damage and harm kidneys.


9. Let your employer and colleagues know about your diabetes. In the event of an emergency, they will know what is to be done.

 

*Image courtesy: Shutterstock

 

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