How Community Pharmacists Play a Role in Diabetes Prevention

November is National Awareness Diabetes Month

Keep reading to see how community pharmacists play an important role in the prevention of diabetes and what you can do to get involved.

For this year’s National Diabetes Awareness Month, the focus is on the connection between diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The risk of dying from stroke or heart disease doubles in adults with diabetes. So, it is important to counsel your diabetic patients on how to lower their risk through healthy lifestyle tips including:

  • Stop smoking or using other tobacco products
  • Exercise regularly and manage stress
  • Regularly monitor A1C, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels
  • Take all prescribed medications as instructed

But community pharmacists have another, more preemptive role to play – and that lies in the detection of pre-diabetes.

1 in every 3 adults have pre-diabetes and a shocking 90% are unaware of it. Pre-diabetes is reflected by abnormally high blood sugar levels that have not quite reached the diabetes realm. This is a crucial stage to detect, because it means that there is still time to stop diabetes II from developing.

This is where you pharmacists come in: the National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP).

This program leads people with pre-diabetes through a lifestyle regimen that can reduce their risk of diabetes by 58% (71% in individuals over 60).

Community pharmacists are known as some of the most accessible health professionals, giving the perfect opportunity to take action. So much so, that the CDC has an action guide dedicated specifically for community pharmacists. A general overview of the steps includes:

  • Look at patient records to see who is at-risk
  • Tip: Use your PioneerRx Software to flag patient records
  • Promote awareness of pre-diabetes to patients
  • Offer screenings and tests
  • Refer patients with pre-diabetes to the NDPP

This November, think about how your pharmacy can get more involved in the prevention and management of diabetes year-round.

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