What Should My Friends And Co-Workers Know About My Diabetes?

Dr. Patrick Ober answers the question: 'What Should Friends/Co-Workers Know?'

ByABC News
November 9, 2007, 3:01 PM

— -- Question:What Should My Friends and Co-Workers Know About My Diabetes?

Answer:One of the real difficult decisions we all have to make if we have any sort of chronic condition, or any sort of medical condition, is how much do we tell people about that who are outside the family -- people we work with, people we go to school with.

Most of us have a tendency to be very private about that, and I think that is very logical; it makes a lot of sense. That's just a natural human being response. For some medical problems where it may not matter, that's probably just fine.

Diabetes is a little bit different, because blood sugar certainly can swing up and down, and one of the more concerning things with diabetes is (if) the sugar drops too low, people could become confused, disoriented; the could even pass out. And not having anybody around know that you have diabetes, and have that happen to you, can be a very large problem.

So we typically recommend people with diabetes do let somebody who works with them know, or if they're a student -- let the teacher know, let someone in the principal's office know, that diabetes is there, and so if there's any issues related to health, whoever identifies the problem, it will be much easier and much better able to help that person.

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