Sugar, sugar

As part of Diabetes Week, our medical staff was out and about with clients, testing their staff for blood sugar levels. This is where we discovered some surprises.

Lifestyle, diet and exercise levels all affect the onset of Type 2 Diabetes. Whether it’s four sugars in four teas a day, multiple energy drinks to kick start your day or unhealthy fast foods on the way home.

In a typical week at Express Medicals, nurses see around 60 candidates a day.

“Of those 60, at least five will show high sugar levels in their tests. That means we have to refer them to their GP and won’t be able to clear them for work straight away.”

“Too much sugar could indicate they’re either pre-diabetic or that they have the condition and simply didn’t know,” says Lauren Miles, Express Medicals’ Nurse Team Leader.

“Diabetes has serious implications when you’re at work. It can affect your eyesight and cause vascular damage to your hands and feet. That could mean something minor like you not feeling the blister caused by new PPE boots. This may lead to infection and failure to feel any sensation at all – it really is that serious.”

5 out of 60 patients at Express Medicals show high levels of sugar

Diabetes is a condition that plays on everyone’s mind: frequent press coverage means our candidates are often aware of the implications but simply haven’t found the time to get checked.

“People in the sectors we work with are sitting ducks for diabetes because of the jobs they do,” adds Georgia van Zantvoort (pictured). “They often work shift patterns which can make it difficult to eat regular, sensible meals. Many might not have high levels of health literacy, so they don’t know why it’s important to regulate salt, sugar and fat content in their diets.

“We’re seeing an increased number of candidates who come for drug and alcohol testing, asking if they can be tested for diabetes as well. We’re happy to do that, and are able to give them guidance verbally and in printed format. Many are just relieved that they’ve been able to find out more about their personal health at a convenient time and location.”

With better health education and screening in the workplace, we hope we can drive down the number of new referrals.

Contact us for further information on how to live a healthy, less sugary life!