Diabetes and work aren’t really a match made in heaven. In many different career areas, it can be extremely difficult to manage your food, medicines, getting enough rest, monitoring blood sugar, exercising enough, and getting all of your work done. Not to mention stress, unkind bosses, and juggling your social or family life.
Diabetes and Work
How Work Can Affect Your Diabetes
Your work environment directly affects your health, no matter if you have health issues or not. As most of us know, at one point or another, work can be a major source of stress — which increases insulin resistance and blood pressure. Work stress can also lead to consuming higher levels of unhealthy food (stress-eating can get very serious, very fast), being too tired to exercise, or having difficulty sleeping. All of these correlating problems can have a detrimental effect on your health.
How to Keep Healthy at Work
Positions in healthcare, warehouses, retail, and even strict office jobs can put a kink in your monitoring. If you used to have a job where you could keep your blood sugar meter in one spot, figure out a solution to keep in on you all the time. Check your blood sugar a few times during the shift. Different shifts may require different insulin doses and food intake. Let your supervisor know when you will need to take a break to monitor and possibly have a snack. Insulin doses and times may need to change if the times you are eating and sleeping have changed.
The Americans with Disabilities Act requires employers to make reasonable accommodations to individuals, meaning they can’t cost too much or disrupt work. Some of these may include:
- A private spot to test blood sugar levels or to take insulin;
- A place to rest until blood sugar levels are normal;
- Breaks to eat/drink, take medication or test blood sugar levels;
- Leave for treatment, recuperation, or training on managing diabetes;
- Modified work schedule or shift change.