Diabetes is diagnosed when the levels of glucose (a form of sugar) in the blood are too high. Glucose comes from a variety of foods that we eat (e.g. carbohydrates) and it can also be made in our bodies. Our body produces a hormone known as insulin to help move the glucose from our blood into our cells, where it can either be converted into energy or stored.
Diabetes develops when:
- Our pancreas is unable to make insulin (e.g. Type 1 Diabetes); or
- Not enough insulin is made and/or the insulin that is made is unable to work effectively (e.g. Type 2 Diabetes).
People with diabetes are at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease (including heart attack and stroke) than those who do not have the condition. Diabetes can change the chemical makeup of some of the substances found in the blood which can cause your blood vessels to narrow or to clog up completely. Thus, controlling your blood sugar levels is an essential part in caring for your heart health.
Screen for risk of developing diabetes
We have partnered with Diabetes Victoria in rolling-out the Life! Program in our participating Victorian pharmacies.
The Life! Program is a free lifestyle modification program that helps participants reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Participants can choose from a group course or a telephone health coaching service and learn more about nutrition, physical activity, sleep, stress and managing lapses.
Ask your local Advantage Pharmacy now, to screen for your risk of developing diabetes and be referred to the Life! Program to reduce your risks now.
Control your Blood Glucose Levels
Blood glucose self monitoring enables you to check your own blood glucose levels as often as you need to and as recommended by your Doctor. Changes in your blood glucose level can alert you and your Doctor to a possible need for a change in how your diabetes is being managed.
Maintaining good blood glucose control helps to reduce the chance of developing complications from diabetes.
Our Advantage Pharmacists are able to provide assistance in monitoring your blood glucose levels as well as provide advice on how to maintain good blood glucose control.
Maintaining a Healthy Weight
Being overweight, especially carrying excess around your waistline, makes it more difficult for you to manage your diabetes and increases your risk of heart disease. In general, women should aim for a waist circumference of equal to or less than 80cm and men should aim for a waist circumference of equal to or less than 94cm.
Regular physical activity can provide many benefits to your body by making your insulin work more efficiently, and therefore, reduce your blood glucose levels. Exercise may help to prevent or delay the onset of Type 2 Diabetes, reduce your blood pressure, reduce your lipid levels (such as cholesterol and triglycerides) and help to reduce your risk of a heart attack or stroke.
As your local Advantage Pharmacists now on advice on maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle.