What are the advantages of telling co-workers that I have diabetes?

Here are some of the reasons why you should tell your co-workers you have diabetes:

  • If you take insulin or certain oral agents, you may be prone to low blood glucose reactions. This can make you confused and unable to help yourself. If people know you have diabetes, they can help you in the event of such a reaction.
  • If you need your employer to make accommodations because of your diabetes (for example, providing time for you to check your blood glucose level in a job that doesn’t allow breaks at will) your employer needs to know about your diabetes and why you need the accommodation.
  • If your employer is not on official notice that you have diabetes and you suspect that some adverse action is the result of your diabetes, it may be very difficult to prove that your employer discriminated against you because of your diabetes.
  • Being open helps people learn more about diabetes. You can help fight prejudice by showing that people with diabetes are just like everyone else. By not telling, you may be sending the message that you have something to be ashamed of.
  • When you are open about your diabetes, you may be surprised to learn how many others have diabetes themselves or in their families. You can help each other.
  • When you talk about your diabetes, other people can learn about the symptoms and treatment. As a result, people you know get the help they need if they suspect that they may also have diabetes.

Telling co-workers you have diabetes can help address safety concerns. Workplace accommodations can be made that are minimal yet effective in helping the individual to manage his or her diabetes on the job and avoid severe hypoglycemia.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.