To fuel your career ambitions and professional growth, good health plays a keyrole. Health shouldn’t hold anyone back professionally. One of the most growing health conditions today that people need to manage effectively – including in the workplace – is diabetes. With careful planning, you can keep your blood sugar levels in check,so you continue to be at your best – throughout the work day and beyond.
Dr. Ravi Sankar Erukulapati, Endocrinologist, Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad,commented, “India now has over 101 million people living with diabetes – a rise from 77 million in 2019. Diabetes is a chronic lifestyle condition that needs to be managed properly to lessen the risk of other health problems in the future. For working professionals, many of whom are doing desk jobs, this can be challenging. As a result, people living with diabetes are sometimes inconsistent with their lifestyle changes and don’t take their medicines as prescribed. It is critical for people with diabetes to take necessary steps to effectively manage their diabetes and properly follow the treatment schedule for better health outcomes.”
Here are 7 steps on how to manage diabetes effectively at work:
Have a diabetes action plan that suits your worklife: Navigating your diabetes and work journey starts even before you reach the office. Getting good sleep at night matters – as does how you plan for the day. Create a routine so you don’t skip breakfast – which is important to keep sugar highs and lows at bay.
Decide whether you want to have this meal at home or when you get to work but keep it nutritious. Limit empty calories and cut back on salt and saturated fat.
Snack smart: Whether a co-worker is munching on chips or fried foods or candy, or offering everyone mithai with celebratory news, you are always surrounded with unhealthy temptations.Avoiding snacking entirely can be tough, so have them in moderation, and be mindful of what you eat. Keep healthy snacks at hand – fruits, salad, nuts, yogurt – for when cravings hit. Also remember to stay hydrated with water over sugary and caffeinated drinks.
Healthy Lunch Matters: Pack lunch smartly so you can enjoy a healthy, balanced meal and aren’t only dependant on outside food. A diabetes-friendly diet includes leafy greens (like spinach), non-starchy vegetables (like carrots, tomatoes, onions, okra, cauliflower), healthy carbs (like whole grains and brown rice), lean proteins (including eggs, beans, and chicken), and fruits low in carbohydrates (such as oranges). On days with special events, whether a colleague’s birthday or team lunch, watch your calorie intake beforehand.
In addition to following a balanced diet, it is crucial to monitor your glucose levels before and after meals. Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) devices can be helpful in tracking your glucose levels throughout the day, providing real-time data to aid in managing your diabetes.
Stick to your medication routine: To manage your diabetes well, adhering to medication is important, which helps maintain glycemic control. In case you need to take any medication at work, be sure to set reminders – maybe on your phone or with a post-it note on your desk.
Ashwini Pawar, Medical Affairs Director for Abbott in India said, “For people with diabetes, disease management is important for maintaining good health. However, many don’t take their medicines as prescribed. At Abbott, we go beyond treating diseases by helping people build better habits and addressing typical barriers for taking timely medication. Introducing patient-centric innovations such as making tablets with a special coating that make them easier to swallow,can help people overcome difficulties. Through such measures, we hope to help patients effectively manage diabetes so they can lead healthier lives while performing at their best.”
Let your team be in the know: If you feel comfortable, talk to your manager and team about living with diabetes. This may help you request for more flexible adjustments, or even consistency with lunch breaks. You can also discuss critical steps necessary in case of a glucose emergency, so they know how to help you if such situations arise.
Get moving: Many at work have sedentary lifestyles. Physical activity helps people with diabetes manage their condition better. Get active by stretching at your desk, taking short walks around the office, up and down the stairs, or even outside. A recent study found that a post-meal walk also helps lower your blood sugar levels. Further, try fitting exercise into your routine before or after work.
Learn to manage stress: When you are stressed, you may notice your glucose levels changing. Sometimes, you may be overwhelmed at work. Good coping mechanisms help keep your blood sugar levels in check when things get difficult. Try meditating in a quiet corner, find time to unwind (talk to a colleague or take a break), and identify and manage stressors.
Try finding a diabetes-friendly routine that works for you, so you can better manage your diabetes at work!