Managing Health Conditions in The Workplace
Louise Aston, Wellbeing Director, of business-led charity Business in the Community
Louise Aston – Wellbeing Director BITC
Over the coming years, managing chronic health conditions like diabetes, arthritis and cancer, are going to become an increasingly critical issue for employers.
The rise in state pension age means people are going to be working for longer – many of whom will develop long-term health conditions while they are still in work. Very often, physical and mental health issues go hand-in-hand. Among people with chronic musculo-skeletal disorders (MSDs), for example, up to 30 per cent also have co-morbid depression or anxiety. Living with both a physical and mental illness can make staying in – or returning to work, much more difficult to manage. It’s therefore vital that employers ensure they provide the right support for employees in order to retain their best talent and help them manage multiple health conditions including mental ill health alongside their work.
The Rarer Form of Diabetes
Many people haven’t heard of Latent Autoimmune Diabetes of Adults (LADA), also known as type 1.5 or slow onset type 1 diabetes. Usually diagnosed in people over the age of 25, it doesn’t require medication of insulin immediately, but this can become required further down the line.
Izzy Mustafa, 32 from Hull, was recently diagnosed with this less commonly known condition early this year.
“My immune system is attacking my Beta Cells – Insulin producing cells in the pancreas. It will eventually reduce my insulin production to a level that requires me to have insulin injections.”
A Confused Doctor
LADA or type 1.5 diabetes is often misdiagnosed as type 2 initially, with Diabetes UK estimating about 10-15% of people have been wrongly diagnosed. It can take a while for the correct diagnosis to be made, as people with LADA often appear quite healthy – they often don’t share the standard type 2 diabetes characteristics of being overweight, unfit or having metabolic syndrome indicators (a group of risk factors including high blood pressure, high blood sugar, unhealthy cholesterol levels and abdominal fat). Read more