Whether you are a teenager or a retiree, adequate management of diabetes is an ongoing challenge requiring effective daily adaptations. Regardless of age, immediate responses to a diagnosis can be frustration; frustration for the necessary changes in lifestyle, fear of lancing or pricking, or anxiety to tell friends or family. So how can you tackle the challenges associated with managing diabetes at school, work, and sport?
Children at school
Teenagers playing sport
It is well-known that exercise should be an important part of the daily routine for everyone, regardless of whether you are living with diabetes or not. Yet, for teenagers in particular, appropriate diabetes management strategies when playing sport is important. During exercise, the muscles release extra glucose for energy yet if there is not enough insulin released to absorb this glucose, this can result in high blood sugar levels and hyperglycemia. Contrastingly, keeping active can cause a dip in blood glucose levels or hypoglycemia. Teenagers going through puberty in particular are more sensitive to insulin levels, with insulin response up to 30% lower than children and so effective control is imperative. Whilst exercising it can be challenging to keep insulin at an appropriate temperature. An insulin temperature shield is small and lightweight - keeping insulin at a safe temperature for up to 12 hours.
1. Keep the snacks handy
Teenagers who have been living with diabetes for a while most likely understand when their blood sugar levels are unstable. Symptoms such as weakness, having a headache and hunger may be present. It is advised that if exercising for longer than an hour, keeping some snacks on hand, like an energy bar or fruit, can help avoid adverse blood glucose levels.
2. Wear an active medical identification bracelet
No matter how long you have had diabetes for, unforeseen ill-health is a continuous potential lingering threat. Dr Grossman from Joslin Diabetes Centre asserts that Medical ID bracelets are able to speak for you when you are unable to. Given the risks associated with playing sport as a diabetic, wearing appropriate jewellery alerting others to your condition is necessary. The sooner the issue is identified, the sooner solutions can be implemented. In Australia, there are numerous vendors in which medical ID jewellery can be purchased from and it may be subsidised in part by Medicare or your private health insurance.
In teenagers in particular, the risk of hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia is elevated when exercising and dependent on the type and duration of the activity. However, exercise physiologist Dr Colberg strongly advises that “a chronic disease can have a negative influence on how teenagers view themselves, but being physically active may help counteract that by increasing self-confidence”.
Adults at work
Like with any pre-existing medical condition, inadequate management of health can result in long absences from work or adverse productivity. Consequently, there is an unfavourable reputation in which employers don't understand diabetes and employees are discriminated against. Subsequently, it is important that employers are aware of your diabetes and understand your management plan. For example, so that appropriate shifts can be planned around the timing of administering medication.
1. Keep all your necessary accessories in one place at work
Ensuring that all your diabetes-related equipment are kept in one location at work is important not only for your own ease of access but also in case of emergencies when others around you may have to administer care. The Dario Blood Glucose Monitoring System is the most efficient way to turn a smartphone into a personal glucometer and keep monitoring and records in one place.
We believe that a compact and discreet blood glucose system helps out a person living with diabetes that for a limited time, any customer who purchases from our store will receive a FREE Dario Blood Glucose Meter. Simply add the discount code FREEDARIO at the check-out and we will add this to your order. Click here to double-check that your smartphone is compatible with this Dario unit. Offer valid until 31st July or unless sold out beforehand!
2. How to communicate your condition with colleagues
Like with any chronic illness, there is a strong sentiment among employers that this equates to loss of productivity. Although most workplaces do not legally require disclosure, depending on your management requirements and to avoid discrimination, it is important that colleagues understand your condition. Yet, bringing up this conversation can be intimidating. Primarily, your Diabetes Educator or medical professional team can help you devise a plan to adequately communicate relevant details. Communication is the first step to avoiding discrimination.
Our Services and Blog posts are NOT intended to substitute any professional medical advice or treatment and are offered for informational purposes only. Remember to always work with your doctor before changing anything about your medication or diabetes management. The above information is NOT medical advice.