Diabetes Self-Management Articles

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Diabetes on the Job

by Laura Hieronymus, MSEd, RN, BC-ADM, CDE

Any of these situations can be stressful, and such added stress can affect your blood glucose control. There’s no easy fix for job stress, but being aware of your emotional responses and doing your best to care for yourself emotionally and physically can help. Advocating for yourself in the workplace — by letting your supervisor know when a deadline is unrealistic, for example — and making constructive suggestions about what could be altered in the work environment may lead to positive changes.

If you are feeling down and out and can’t seem to shake feelings of sadness or irritability, are unable to concentrate, or have low energy, you might be depressed and need professional help. You should seek help from your diabetes care provider or possibly from an employee assistance program, if your workplace has one.

Employee wellness programs
Some businesses have employee wellness programs in place to help their workers learn about and practice healthy lifestyle habits. Such programs may include health screenings, educational sessions, support groups, exercise groups, cooking classes, newsletters, discounted health club memberships, health insurance plans that reimburse for preventive services, and other benefits. Many employee wellness programs are available to employees’ family members, as well. If your company has an employee wellness program, it’s worth checking out to see how it could help you in your diabetes care.

If your company does not currently have such a program and you’d like to encourage one, your employer can find a wealth of information on employee wellness programs that are specific to diabetes at www.diabetesatwork.org. Remind your employer that a healthy lifestyle is important for everyone, not just for people with diabetes. Studies have shown that high-quality employee wellness programs improve staff health and well-being, which may, in turn, reduce absenteeism, health-care costs, and disability claims.

In addition to wellness programs, some worksites also have medical personnel on site, such as nurses, occupational medicine physicians, or other health-care providers. Take advantage of these resources, and be sure to tell your diabetes care provider about any tests, immunizations (such as the flu shot), etc., that you have received at work.

Knowledge and resources
The more you know about your diabetes and your individual needs for optimal blood glucose control, the better you are able to plan for those daily needs when you are at work and to communicate them to your coworkers, if necessary. By keeping your diabetes in the best possible control, you will increase the odds for feeling better, which may help your productivity at work. (Click here for some take-away tips on managing your diabetes while at work.)

Stay in touch with your diabetes care team to make sure you are on the right track with your health. Periodically ask your diabetes care team for updates regarding your blood glucose monitoring equipment and diabetes medicines. Advances in monitoring equipment, medicines, and the delivery devices for medicines used to treat diabetes may simplify your management, making it easier to incorporate these necessary health items into your daily work routine.

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Also in this article:
Resources for Workers
Take-Away Job Tips



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Statements and opinions expressed on this Web site are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the publishers or advertisers. The information provided on this Web site should not be construed as medical instruction. Consult appropriate health-care professionals before taking action based on this information.



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