What is Diabetes?
Diabetes occurs when there is a lack of a hormone called insulin in the body, or when the body does not respond properly to insulin. Insulin is released by an organ called the pancreas. It is responsible for letting glucose (sugar) in to the cells in the body to produce energy. Without insulin, the amount of glucose in the bloodstream builds up and becomes too high.
Type 1 diabetes usually occurs before the age of 35. People with type 1 diabetes produce no insulin and therefore must treat their diabetes by injecting insulin in order to control their blood sugar level.
Type 2 diabetes is more common in adults over 40 years of age. People with type 2 diabetes make some insulin. In some cases they may be treated with diet, exercise and weight loss. When these treatments are not effective, anti-diabetic medication or insulin injections may be required. Another form of diabetes is called Gestational diabetes. This is triggered by pregnancy. Hormone changes during pregnancy can affect insulin’s ability to work properly. The condition occurs in approximately 4% of all pregnancies. Usually, blood sugar levels return to normal within six weeks of childbirth. However, women who have had gestational diabetes have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
What are the symptoms of diabetes?
Currently there is no cure for diabetes, so people with the condition need to manage it to stay healthy. The symptoms of diabetes in somebody who hasn’t been diagnosed can vary depending on the individual and the type of diabetes. Some common symptoms include:
Frequent passing of urine
Unexplained weight loss
Recurrent thrush infections
Slow healing of wounds/recurrent infection
Am I at risk for type 2 diabetes?
You may be at risk if:
- You are over the age of 40
- You are overweight (a BMI of 25 or higher}
- You have a family history of diabetes
- You had diabetes during pregnancy
- You do not get regular exercise
(It is recommended to get 30 minutes of exercise five days per week.)
- You have high blood pressure
- You have high cholesterol
What is an AllCare diabetes check?
At Allcare, we offer the Diabetes Check to assess some of the main risk factors for developing diabetes.
The service involves a consultation with our pharmacist in the private consultation room and looks at the following:
- Blood Glucose
- Blood Pressure
- Waist Size
Measuring your blood glucose will tell you how much sugar is in your blood. The pharmacist can easily measure your blood glucose level and give you an immediate result. This test involves taking a small finger prick sample of blood.
High blood pressure is a risk-factor common to a number of different conditions, including diabetes. As part of the service, your blood pressure will be taken and the results will be discussed with you.
Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure of your weight against your height and indicates if you are carrying too much weight. It is advised that your BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9 in order to maintain a healthy weight for your height.
People who carry weight around their waist have a higher risk of developing diabetes. It is advised that healthy waist measurements for females are those that are less than 32 inches (80cm) and that measurements for males are less than 37inches (94cm).
A small amount of regular exercise will help reduce your blood glucose and has many other health benefits too. It is recommended to take at least 30 minutes of exercise five days a week.
Once our pharmacist has completed the measurements, they will discuss all the results and what they mean for you. They may discuss some lifestyle changes that would help reduce your risk of developing diabetes, or they may refer you onto your GP if they think you need further tests. You’ll also get a copy of your results to take home with you.
How can your AllCare pharmacy team help if you have diabetes?
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes your pharmacist is available to discuss your condition and your medicines. Other ways in which your pharmacy team can help you in taking control of your diabetes include:
Using your blood glucose monitor
If you are diabetic it is important to keep control of your blood glucose levels. Follow your doctor’s instructions on how often you need to check your blood glucose using your blood glucose monitor. A member of your pharmacy team can advise you on the correct use of your blood glucose monitor.
We can provide you with a review of your medicines to help you take the right doses at the right time, discuss any possible side-effects and make sure you are getting the most from your medicines.
It is important to maintain a healthy weight for good diabetes control. A member of your pharmacy team can check your BMI for free and discuss the results with you.
For people with diabetes, taking care of your feet is extremely important. This is because diabetes can reduce your sensitivity to pain in your feet, meaning you may be more susceptible to injury and infection. A member of your Allcare pharmacy team can advise you on the range of Footcare products available in the pharmacy.
Prescription Texting Service
If you are on regular prescription medication we can prepare your medicines in advance each month and send you a text to let you know when they are ready for collection. We will also remind you when you need to renew your prescription with your doctor.
Winter Flu Vaccine*
As diabetes is a long-term health condition, people with diabetesare recommended to get the flu vaccination every year. Your Allcare Pharmacist is available to provide the flu vaccine in the private consultation room in the pharmacy.
You can book a diabetes check in participating stores by clicking the button below. The diabetes check is subject to appointment and specially trained staff. The cost of this service is €10.