Health Tips Video: How to Manage Diabetes for a Long, Healthy Life

Tips to manage diabetes for a long and healthy life

Diabetes is a serious medical condition that affects over 2.1 million people in Canada. There are different types of diabetes, but all forms affect the body’s ability to manage blood sugar levels with insulin. Either the body has difficulty producing insulin in the pancreas (Type 1), or it cannot properly use the insulin it does produce (Type 2). There is also a temporary type of diabetes that can affect women during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes affects 2-4% of pregnancies and means that both mother and child have a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life.

Thankfully, there are many ways to manage diabetes. According to London Drugs pharmacist Sangita Tumber, it is important for people with diabetes to:

  • Interpret blood sugar patterns
  • Eat well
  • Get physical activity
  • Safely inject insulin
  • Adjust dosage if needed

Track Your Blood Sugar

How to manage diabetes for a long and healthy life

Tracking your blood sugar can keep you on track. The Canadian Diabetes Association recommends that people using insulin test their blood sugar levels regularly. People with Type 2 diabetes who aren’t using insulin may also want to self-monitor their blood sugar levels. It’s easy to do this at home with a blood glucose monitor.

Eat Well and Exercise

You can manage diabetes and live a long, healthy life

Food choices, especially related to alcohol and sweets, can greatly affect blood sugar levels. This is why nutrition is so important for people with diabetes, especially Type 2. Exercise can also lower your blood sugar and help insulin work more effectively.

Work with Your Healthcare Professionals

The most important thing you can do to manage your diabetes is to form a partnership with your healthcare professionals, says Tumber. They can help you monitor your diabetes and teach you how to track sugar levels and inject insulin safely. Prevention is key when it comes to avoiding long-term complications.

It really is possible to live a long and healthy life with diabetes. It just takes some knowledge and care. The best weapon to managing this chronic condition is education. That’s why London Drugs has Certified Diabetes Educators at select locations to help you better understand this disease. These are pharmacists with national certification as diabetes experts.

These Certified Diabetes Educators can also assist you in a variety of languages, including Cantonese, Punjabi, Mandarin, and Korean, depending on location. Language shouldn’t be a barrier when it comes to understanding the steps you need to take to manage your health.

To learn more about diabetes and managing the condition, visit the London Drugs Health Library online or talk to a Certified Diabetes Educator at select London Drugs locations.

5 Reasons Your Pharmacist is Awesome

Everyone knows that your pharmacist is the expert in filling your prescriptions, but everyone may not know that they provide many other super helpful services as well. We’re celebrating World Pharmacists Day by shining a light on all of the ways your friendly, neighbourhood London Drugs pharmacist can help you maintain and improve your health.

1. They can give you your jabs

Getting immunized isn’t exactly fun, but pharmacists can take the sting out of it by making it easy and convenient. If you’re planning a trip overseas, your pharmacist can help you prepare by reviewing your immunization history, letting you know which vaccines you’ll need for your destination, administering them, and issuing you an International Certificate of Vaccination if you need it.

London Drugs’ Certified Injection Pharmacists are also able to administer influenza vaccinations, as well as the Zostavax vaccine for Shingles.

If you would like to get a vaccination at a London Drugs pharmacy, just ask for more information at the pharmacy counter.

2. They give great advice

Although sometimes necessary, getting in to see a doctor can be time-consuming and complicated. If you’re looking for quick advice about minor ailments or wellness, your pharmacist can be your first stop on the road to good health. You can meet with a London Drugs pharmacist one-on-one to get trusted health advice on anything from allergy relief, diabetes management, nutrition, cough and cold remedies, pain management, stomach health, and eye care. Here’s the best part–no appointment necessary!

3. They help with the kids

Becoming a new parent can be scary, especially if you think something is wrong with your precious little bundle. If you have questions about your child’s health, pharmacists are an accessible resource. They can recommend over-the-counter medications that are safe for your children and provide information on proper dosage to help you treat common baby health conditions such as diaper rash, eczema, cradle cap, constipation, pain and fever, rashes, teething and more. Pharmacists can also refer your child to a doctor or other health professional if they feel your little bundle of joy requires a closer look.

4. They can help you find out for sure

You can never be too careful with your health, and pharmacists make it easier to put your mind at ease. Health screenings are a great way to take control of your health, and London Drugs provides the following convenient screening services and clinics at most of our locations:

5. They care about the community

Pharmacists are not only healthcare professionals, they are caring members of the community that they serve.

For example, last year during the British Columbia wildfire crisis, they provided life-saving services in the affected communities. While London Drugs helped assemble essential supplies and support staff, London Drugs pharmacists assisted those affected by accessing medical histories and contacted insurance providers to ensure quick access to essential medications for people who had to evacuate their homes.

Do you have a great story about how your super-pharmacist saved the day? Share it with us in the comments or on Twitter! #ilovemypharmacist

Diabetes alert dogs to the rescue

Image_003Sophie Mullins of Paradise, Newfoundland, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she became seriously ill at the age of 18 months. Her parents, Heidi Pavelka and Jamie Mullins, worried about her constantly, since her blood sugar can drop without warning, putting her at risk of hypoglycemia. “Sophie doesn’t feel her lows—she could have low blood sugar and be running around the house as if everything is normal,” says Pavelka. Their worries were alleviated thanks to a new addition to the family: a six-month-old black Labrador retriever named Peaches, a diabetes alert dog who has been trained over several years to detect Sophie’s low blood sugar levels and get help when she needs it. (Note: At six months the dog moves in with the patient’s family to begin the training process.)


Sight unseen: tips and techniques for coping with vision loss

Image_001Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in Canada. Diabetic retinopathy, which results in vision loss, is caused by damage to the blood vessels of the retina. It affects 25% of people with type 1 diabetes and up to 14% of people with type 2 diabetes. Having diabetes also raises the risk of developing other eye problems, such as cataracts and glaucoma. While it can be frightening to lose part or all of your vision, there are plenty of strategies, tools, and resources available to help you stay as independent as possible. Here are some of them.


Prescription for exercise

Image_001Physical activity is the best treatment for type 2 diabetes. Why not do it in the great outdoors?

Exercise is considered one of the cornerstones of treatment for people living with type 2 diabetes for a host of reasons: it improves the body’s use of insulin, burns excess body fat, improves muscle strength and heart health, increases bone density, lowers blood pressure, relieves stress, lifts one’s mood, and increases energy.

Exercise doesn’t just make you feel better, it also reduces disease, lessens hospitalizations, and can actually help you live longer. A 2012 study of 650,000 people from the U.S.-based Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the National Cancer Institute proved just that. It found that people over 40 who walked briskly for 75 minutes per week lived an extra 1.8 years. That increased to 3.4 years when they walked 150 to 299 minutes per week and to 4.5 years for 450 minutes per week.


Is your child at risk for type 2 diabetes?

LD.diabAn alarming number of children are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. A generation ago it was rare to hear about a child having type 2 diabetes—it used to be only adults who got this disease.  Not anymore.  Over the past 15 years, there has been a 10- to 30-fold increase in American children with type 2 diabetes, due in great part to higher rates of obesity and lower rates of physical exercise among children.  Most of the affected children and youth are between the ages of 10 and 19, and more girls are affected than boys.  Most are also from ethnic groups at high risk for the disease, such as those of African, Hispanic, and Asian descent.  Type 2 diabetes is being diagnosed in Canadian First Nations children as young as eight years of age, and the incidence in this group is increasing rapidly.  In the next generation, it is estimated that the global incidence of type 2 diabetes in kids will increase by a whopping 50%.


London Drugs Diabetes and Insulin Management Clinics

Certified Diabetes Educators assist Western Canadians with diabetes management

According to the Canadian Diabetes Association, more than nine million Canadians now live with diabetes, the statistic having nearly doubled since 2000. That number is expected to increase by 1.5 million people in coming years and will see one in three people with the disease by 2020.

With more than 20 people being newly diagnosed with the disease every hour, diabetes has become one of Canada’s foremost illnesses. In response to a nationwide concern over the disease, London Drugs has continued to grow its Certified Diabetes Educators (CDE) Program. As part of that program London Drugs offers Diabetes & Insulin Management Clinics to assist Canadians with the management of their diabetes.

Beginning in May, Certified Diabetes Educators (CDE) are available on-site to book 45-minute one-on-one personal care and consultation appointments. CDEs offer assistance to people living with diabetes in handling their disease while also guiding them by making recommendations for therapy. During each clinical session, patients receive a personalized assessment, and advice on blood glucose monitoring, safe insulin injection and overall diabetes management. With an in-store Certified Diabetes Educator, London Drugs pharmacy patients have access to a health care professional who can work regularly with them to help manage their disease.

Over the years, the number of Certified Diabetes Educators at London Drugs has increased to 55 across Western Canada. With pharmacy at the heart of its business, all London Drugs pharmacists are provided with the tools to identify, assess and discuss individualized risks and implications for diabetes. It is during these Diabetes Clinics that people living with diabetes are able to gain a deeper understanding and learn more about their individual disease management.

The Canadian Diabetes Association recommends that Canadians over the age of 40 be tested for diabetes every three years. Risk factors for Type 2 diabetes include a family history of the disease, high blood pressure or cholesterol as well as being a member of a high-risk group including those of Aboriginal, Asian, South Asian or African descent. Without proper management and care of diabetes, complications may arise in the form of heart, kidney or eye disease as well as potential nerve damage.

For full information on Type 2 Diabetes visit the London Drugs Health Library online or speak with a London Drugs Pharmacist at your nearest location. To learn more about London Drugs’ Diabetes Clinics, visit to book your appointment.


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