8 Self-Care Tips to Managing Type 1 Diabetes in the Workplace
Transitioning into a scheduled 8-5pm work lifestyle at a creative agency with Type 1 Diabetes can be arduous. But it doesn’t have to be with this short guide on how to manage Type 1 Diabetes in the workplace. Before we get started, let’s discuss the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes.
Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease that causes a person’s pancreas to cease production of the hormone, insulin. The result is the person becomes insulin dependent. This isn’t to be confused with Type 2, in which the person overproduces insulin and the inability to use it properly, so they become insulin resistant. Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease with no cause and no cure. Type 1 = insulin deficient, Type 2 = insulin resistant.
1. Aim for Success - Start Your Day Off Right
Get plenty of sleep, eat breakfast and get hydrated.
2. Get Savvy with Your Work Schedule
You’ll have more doctors appointments on your calendar than most of your co-workers, so, try to get creative with your timing. Schedule your appointments when your agency is slower, like in the morning before work, or the last appointment of the day.
3. Contemplate a CGM
A tool called a CGM (continuous glucose monitor) can check your blood sugar for you every five minutes. It’s a tiny sensor that’s placed just under the skin which sends the data to a receiver, phone or paired with a watch by accessing the app. Alerts can be customized for meetings and work events.
4. Forecast Emergencies
Always have the tools and glucose reachable to treat low blood sugar. Keep at your desk or ask your employer where you can store your stash. Keep glucose tablets in your car for long commutes.
5. Make Time to Stay Active
If you work at your desk, find ways to incorporate physical activity into your work schedule. Take short walks, do muscle stretches at your chair, walk a staircase. Ask your employer about a standing desk or a treadmill desk. Take breaks to stand, walk and stretch.
6. Resist Temptations
From work events to birthdays, it can be tough to not give in to the temptations, so keep low carb snacks at your desk. There are many new low carb products on the market that are healthy and won’t elevate your blood sugar. For example, nuts are a favorable choice. If you do indulge, keep it to a nibble! And check your blood sugar often.
7. Don’t Keep it a Secret
Write about it in the company blog! And, let at least one coworker know of your condition and what to do in case of an emergency.
8. Know Your Triggers
T1D is not black and white, we all react to triggers differently. Be aware of some factors that can raise or lower your blood sugar:
● Extreme temperatures
● Sedentary lifestyle
● Active lifestyle
● Hydration level
● Fatigue/lack of sleep
To conclude, be aware of a few comments to avoid:
“Are you allowed to eat that?” Anything can be consumed as long as the precise amount of insulin is dosed.
Confusing Type 1 and Type 2 – A common mistake that’s easy to make for someone who isn’t familiar with diabetes. All of the jokes and movie references that you have seen about diabetes are most likely inaccurate and exaggerated.
“I’m going to get diabetes from eating all those cookies” jokes. This statement is 100% false.
To learn more about T1D management, research, advocacy, tools, employee rights and many other crucial resources, visit American Diabetes Association at https://www.diabetes.org.