Diabetes Bytes A Centennial Celebration Newsletter WINTER 2011 Diabetes in the Workplace Tip Ask your diabetes educator to help if your feelings are overwhelming you or affecting the way you take care of yourself. They can suggest ways to help you cope with the difficult feelings or stress. Diabetes affects almost 26 million people in the United States, and it stands to reason that many of those people work. The workplace can add to the challenges of managing diabetes in a number of ways. Here are some suggestions to help with diabetes on the job. 1) Carry your blood glucose meter with you to work. Especially if you are taking hypoglycemic agents or insulin. This will allow you to carry out your monitoring recommendations as well as spot-checking if the need arises. 2) Make healthy eating a priority. It is not wise to skip breakfast. Research your options for packing or buying healthy foods to eat at work. Keep with you portable, nonperishable foods that do not need refrigeration. Examples include canned fruit in its own juice, raisins, crackers, peanut butter. 3) Get up and move! Physical activity helps to lower and control your blood sugars. People who primarily sit at work will need to figure out ways to add movement into their day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park farther from the door or stretch at your desk. If you are on your feet most of the day, you may need to test more frequently to help prevent hypoglycemia or have a quick snack between meals. Snacks for Thought â€˘ 1/4 quarter cup of plain M&Ms have 200 calories, 8 grams of fat and 27 grams of sugar â€˘ 6 cups of low-fat popcorn has about 160 calories, 1 gram of fat and no sugar 4) Work hours/shift. If you have an evening, or rotating shift, it can be challenging when it comes to planning. In general, you still need to match medications to your meals, no matter when those meals occur. One of our certified diabetes educators can help you prepare a regimen that will work for you. 5) Employee wellness programs. HMHP provides many wellness and education programs to help you learn about healthy lifestyle habits. Most programs are covered by insurance plans or are offered at a reduced rate for employees. Diabetes self-management programs are offered every month at all three HMHP hospitals and are accredited by the American Diabetes Association.