Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects how the body uses glucose (sugar) as energy. It can cause complications like heart disease, kidney failure, nerve damage, and vision loss. About 440,000 Singaporeans have diabetes, and this number may rise to one million by 2050 .
Managing diabetes and work in Singapore can be challenging. Employees with diabetes may experience symptoms like fatigue, thirst, hunger, blurred vision, and frequent urination. These symptoms can affect their well-being, productivity, and performance.
However, there are ways to manage diabetes and work in Singapore effectively. Employees with diabetes can adopt a holistic approach that includes:
- Blood sugar monitoring: Check blood sugar levels regularly and take corrective actions when needed. This can help you avoid or reduce the negative outcomes of high or low blood sugar levels, such as headaches, dizziness, confusion, or coma.
- Healthy eating: Plan and prepare meals in advance, choose nutritious options, avoid skipping meals or overeating, and snack smartly. This can help you control your blood sugar levels, prevent weight gain, lower your risk of complications, and improve your overall health.
- Physical activity: Take short walks, use the stairs, stretch at the desk, or join workplace exercise classes. This can help you lower your blood sugar levels, improve your insulin sensitivity, reduce your risk of complications, and enhance your mood and energy levels.
- Stress management: Practice deep breathing exercises, mindfulness, or hobbies outside of work. This can help you reduce stress hormones that raise your blood glucose levels and affect your mood, motivation, and decision-making.
Corporate wellness programs and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can also support employees with diabetes. Corporate wellness programs are initiatives and programs that employers implement to promote the health and well-being of their employees. TCM is a form of healing that originated in China and uses methods such as acupuncture, herbal medicine, massage, and dietary therapy to treat various conditions. TCM has been shown to have efficacy in various fields, such as oncology, respiratory, neurology, and cardiovascular diseases.
Some of the benefits of corporate wellness programs and TCM for employees with diabetes are:
- Education and awareness: Corporate wellness programs can provide workshops on diabetes management with Singaporean dietary guidelines. TCM can provide information on the causes, symptoms, and prevention of diabetes from a holistic perspective. TCM can also explain the concept of yin and yang balance in relation to diabetes.
- Nutritional support: Corporate wellness programs can offer healthy food options, nutrition counseling, and access to dieticians. TCM can prescribe herbal medicine or dietary therapy to regulate blood sugar levels and improve organ functions. TCM can also suggest foods that are suitable for different body types and seasons according to the five elements theory.
- Physical activity promotion: Corporate wellness programs can encourage fitness challenges and workplace exercise classes. TCM can recommend exercises that can improve blood circulation and balance the yin and yang energies. TCM can also teach breathing techniques that can enhance oxygen intake and metabolism.
- Stress reduction initiatives: Corporate wellness programs can include TCM-inspired techniques like acupuncture and relaxation exercises. Acupuncture can stimulate specific points on the body to release endorphins and reduce stress hormones. Relaxation exercises can calm the mind and body by using guided imagery or music.
Managing diabetes and work in Singapore requires a holistic approach that addresses the physical and mental aspects of the condition. Corporate wellness programs with TCM elements can provide comprehensive support, enhancing the well-being of employees with diabetes.