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Understanding And Improved Management of Diabetes

Care Chemist Launches Campaign to Increase Understanding And Improved Management of Diabetes

With Diabetes Awareness Week taking place from 16-22 November 2010, Care Chemist, the country’s fastest growing community pharmacy group, has launched a nationwide campaign to raise awareness and understanding of the disease. New Zealanders are being encouraged to visit their local Care Chemist with any questions or concerns they have around diabetes risk factors, while those who currently have diabetes will have access to advice on how to better manage the condition and their medication.

Care Chemists throughout the country will be involved in various activities to support diabetes awareness. Screening days, including blood glucose meter checks and blood pressure checks will be available at selected Care Chemists. A checklist will be available to customers to assess their risk factors for developing Type 2 Diabetes.

Information handouts from Diabetes New Zealand will be available in Care Chemists throughout November. Pharmacists will also be able to offer lifestyle tips and to answer any questions customers might have about their diabetes medication.

‘The number of individuals with diabetes is increasing sharply especially among Maori and Pacific Island people. It is thought that by 2020 more than half a million New Zealanders will have diabetes, which will put an even greater strain on the New Zealand healthcare system. The community pharmacist is in an ideal position to play a vital role,’ explains Care Chemist spokesperson, Kathy Maxwell. ‘Unfortunately, Type 1 diabetes is not preventable but Type 2 diabetes can usually be staved off if people are aware of what can cause it. High blood pressure, being overweight and having diabetes in the family will all significantly increase the chance of an individual developing it themselves.’

‘People can reduce their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by making a few healthy lifestyle changes,’ says Kathy. ‘For example, the type and amount of food you eat can play a big part in increasing or decreasing your diabetes risk. Choosing low-GI carbohydrate foods reduces the risk of diabetes while eating more high-GI foods, which lead to blood sugar spikes, increases the risk. Doing more exercise, drinking less alcohol, cutting down on sedentary activity and losing weight, especially around the waist will help. Quitting Smoking will also help prevent worsening of diabetes”

‘Even when a person has diabetes, it can be controlled to a certain degree,’ adds Kathy. ‘Eating healthy foods in the right amounts, getting regular physical activity, taking diabetes medications as prescribed and testing blood sugar on a regular basis, will all make managing the condition much easier.

For more information on Care Chemist, visit www.carechemist.co.nz

ENDS

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