Diabetic Signs and Symptoms in the Work Place

Diabetic signs and symptoms? Sure, there are plenty but sometimes they don't show until it’s later and so people may have diabetes and not know it. That is why the work place has to try to face the issue before it's too late. Why? Because the human and economic consequences are many.

Of course the company should not only concern itself with the diabetic signs and symptoms or the lack thereof because there are other chronic diseases but strategies to control diabetes will also help manage the other chronic diseases.

So let us start with the diabetic signs and symptoms. What are they?

Here are the symptoms of diabetes:

  • Feeling excessively thirsty
  • Always feeling hungry
  • Frequently urinating
  • Weight loss that cannot be explained
  • Itchy rash in the fold of the skin
  • Urinary tract infections

The following may also occur:

  • Vision is blurred
  • Cuts heal poorly
  • Mouth is dry
  • Easily gets tired
  • Unusual infections
  • Impotence in men
  • Lack of feeling or tingling in hands, feet and legs

If you feel you have these diabetic signs and symptoms, get checked right away so you can prevent the complications that might come later. And of course the company will probably have something in place to help you. The company knows that actions to control diabetes will help boost the profitability of the workers which therefore help increase its bottom line.

What are the human cost of diabetes?

  • The American Diabetes Association reported in 1998 that those who have diabetes lost an average of 8.3 days per year from work.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in 1997 that in 1994 more than half with diabetes said they were limited in activity with 60% confirming that this is due to diabetes.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also reported that the death certificates in 1996 listed diabetes as contributing to the death of 193,410 people and the figure may even be higher because diabetes is underreported as cause of death.
  • The American Diabetes Association also revealed in 1998 that 74,927 employees were permanently put out of action due to diabetes.

Now what should the company do when faced with the above reports? With or without the diabetic signs and symptoms, it should develop an environment that supports good diabetes control. Let the workers know this support and appreciation for their effort to stay healthy while keeping their records private.

How can the company develop a supportive environment?

  • Make available a diabetes support group.
  • Set up a regular class that will discuss among other things the diabetic signs and symptoms.
  • Make available a confidential and convenient area for the workers to test their blood sugar level.
  • Provide opportunities for the other workers to learn about diabetes.
  • Make sure the menus served in the cafeteria are healthy.
  • Refund the expenses incurred by the employees for diabetic supplies through the company health plan.
  • Set up a diabetes resource center to guide the employees in their effort to prevent complication.

What are the expected outcomes of the aforementioned projects to help the employees with or without the diabetic signs and symptoms?

  • Blood glucose level that is better managed and controlled.
  • Lower health cost because of less complications
  • Support and understanding from other workers and families.

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