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Workplace Diabetes Support

It was Diabetes Awareness Week recently.

Here is some information that you can share with your staff and how they can support each other in the workplace. It is always useful to know if any of your close work colleagues have any medication that they may need in an emergency.

In my role of School Nurse a number of years ago, I had to administer insulin to a young pupil 3-4 times per day depending on her levels and also the food she ate during the day.

A fridge is always useful to store the insulin in.

Focusing on how to change the diet to impact the likelihood of getting the disease, as well as what is needed to look out for when differentiating between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes in the workplaceYour diet can impact the disease.

While type 1 diabetes is a rare, incurable, autoimmune disease where the body can’t make insulin, type 2 diabetes a metabolic disease with your body unable to effectively use the insulin it’s producing.

Let’s take a closer look at the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes…

What is type 1 diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes is much rarer than type 2 – only about eight per cent of people with diabetes have type 1 diabetes, according to Diabetes UK. Type 1 is a rare, incurable, autoimmune disease where your blood sugar is too high because your body can’t make insulin hormone. It is not triggered by poor diet or lifestyle choices, or a high BMI.

How is type 1 diabetes managed?

A life-long disease, type 1 diabetics are insulin dependent and require multiple daily injections of insulin every day to survive. If insulin injection quantities are miscalculated, too many results in dangerously low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia) which can be fatal unless you quickly elevate levels by consuming sugar.

Too little insulin means blood glucose becomes too high (hyperglycaemia), over time causing heart attack, blindness, or nerve damage. Type 1 diabetes is often diagnosed in childhood, but the disease can occur at any age. Genetics may make you susceptible, and research is ongoing into whether viruses, such as human enteroviruses, trigger it.

How to help someone with type 1 diabetes

If you notice a type 1 diabetic work colleague appearing confused, trembling, perspiring, dizzy, slurring their words or nearly passing out, they may be having a hypoglycaemic episode. As it’s potentially life threatening, you could save their life by giving them sugar to eat or drink!

Eating a handful of sweets, drinking a small can of full-sugar fizzy drink or a glass of fruit juice can stop a hypo.

What is type 2 diabetes?

With type 2 diabetes making up about 92 percent of diabetes cases, it’s the one you usually hear about. It’s a metabolic disease with your body unable to effectively use the insulin it’s producing. Insulin is released into your blood when glucose levels rise, such as after eating. Insulin helps process glucose into cells for energy and regulates levels in the bloodstream.

What causes type 2 diabetes?

In type 2 diabetes, your cells become resistant to insulin, so excess glucose circulates in your blood, which is bad for health. Over time, high blood sugar damages your body, often starting with the feet and eyes, even leading to toe, foot or leg amputations and sight loss.

Type 2 diabetes is usually triggered by unhealthy diet and lifestyle choices in people genetically predisposed. New research shows that dietary and lifestyle changes can put type 2 into remission.

What to do if you think you might have diabetes:

If you’re worried about diabetes, speak to your GP

I hope this may help some people whilst at work.

If you need any further information please contact us today on 07770 302504 or email joanne@chestnutassociates.co.uk