Managing Your Diabetes With Medications & Natural Supplements
More than 3 million Canadians are living with diabetes and this number is expected to reach to 3.7 million by 2020. If you are one of these people, we at Pure Integrative Pharmacy are here to help. With the proper lifestyle, diet, and if necessary, medication, you can prevent diabetes-related complications in the future. More than just dispensing your diabetes medications, we can offer a wealth of knowledge to manage your diabetes. We can help you understand how your medications work, warn you on interactions between other medications and natural supplements, and explain how to properly use your blood glucose meter and diabetic supplies.
Managing your medications
More than 80% of people diagnosed with diabetes are taking prescription medications to control their blood sugars. The majority of these people are taking more than one medication which may cause confusion and raise many questions. Speak with one of our pharmacist to discuss when to take your medications, why you are taking your medications, how to take them, and how to manage potential side effects. Don’t forget to mention any over the counter medications and natural supplements you are taking as many of them can interact with your medications and affect you blood sugar levels.
Natural health supplements
There are many natural supplements and herbal remedies marketed for people with diabetes. However, only a few of them have clinical evidence to prove their effectiveness. Our natural health advisors and pharmacists can work together with you and your doctor to find the most suitable option for you. Be sure to always check with your pharmacist or doctor to make sure they do not interfere with your medications or put you at risk of low blood sugar levels. It is also good to start with a single-ingredient supplement at a moderate dose. This way you can determine if the benefits, side effects, interactions, are related to that particular supplement.
Monitoring blood sugar levels
Checking your blood glucose levels is particularly important if you are starting a new medication or supplement. Make sure you know how often to test your blood sugar levels and what your targets are. If you are unsure on how to use your glucose meter, talk to our pharmacists. Always record your results and understand what your blood sugar levels mean. Recognize the symptoms of low or high blood glucose, and how to treat low blood glucose. Lastly, speak to your pharmacist to update your blood glucose meter every 2 years to ensure accuracy.
Doug Ma, Bsc. (Pharm), Compounding Pharmacist,
Pharmacy Operations Manager, Vancouver