February 15, 2023

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder characterized by the presence of high blood sugar due to lack of insulin, reduced action of insulin, or both.

What is the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes?

In Type 1 Diabetes the body is unable to produce insulin.

In Type 2 Diabetes, there is typically a combination of poorly functioning insulin along with some degree of insulin shortage.

How can I manage my diabetes?

If you have Type 1 Diabetes you must use insulin injections because your body is unable to make insulin on its own.

Type 2 Diabetes is managed with a combination of diet and exercise, oral therapies, and/or insulin. This includes pills like Metformin and Gliclazide. There are many other types of medications that can be used if blood sugar goals are not being met with the current medication regimen. Insulin may be recommended if you are unable to achieve blood sugar targets with diet, exercise and oral therapies.

How can I manage my diabetes alongside my current medications?

  • Education is important to ensure you are fully informed about your condition
  • Diet and exercise play an important role in controlling blood sugar
  • Make sure your blood pressure is well controlled. Elevated blood pressure increases the risk of eye, heart, and kidney disease.
  • Weight management is particularly beneficial for managing Type 2 diabetes
  • Stress management

Aside from medications, how can I “improve” my diabetes?

For people living with Type 2 Diabetes, the most common lifestyle changes focus on diet, increasing physical activity, and weight loss. Choosing “whole” foods over processed foods more often, as well as incorporating more fruits, vegetables and other high fiber foods into your diet is a great place to start. A consultation with a Registered Dietitian can guide meal planning specific to your needs.

What happens if I go low or high?

Management of blood glucose levels that are too low or too high depends on many factors including the medications you are taking. Your pharmacist can work with your physician to create an individualized action plan.

If I need a monitor, which one do I choose?

Glucose Monitoring is done for 3 main purposes:

  • detect low blood sugar
  • help with dose of medications, especially insulin
  • determine how changes to diet, exercise, and medications are working

There are many options available for home monitoring of blood glucose. Your Pharmacy team can help you select one that is best suited to your needs.

Talk to your Lake Country Co-op Pharmacist today about how you can work together to successfully meet your diabetes goals.

Co-op Marketplace Location (Cornerstone)
777 – 801 15th Street East

Monday to Friday: 8am-7pm, Saturday 9am-6pm, Sunday 10am-6pm

Co-operative Health Centre Location
110 – 8th Street East

Monday to Friday: 8:30am-5pm, Closed Saturday and Sunday

Information gathered using Diabetes Canada online access by Shaelyn Grassick, PharmD