Diabetes · Health

Managing Type 2 Diabetes with LloydsPharmacy #LetsTalkDiabetes

Some of you may know that I’m a Type 2 diabetic; I’ve written about it a few times before but it’s not something I talk about at great length, probably because it’s just become a part of my life now. My diabetes started when I was pregnant with Sausage and never went away once I gave birth, probably due to the fact that I struggle with my weight and I have a family history on one side.

Anyway, type 2 diabetes is one of those condition which doesn’t need to take over your whole life, but it does need a certain amount of management to make sure that your sugar levels are not affecting your health in other ways. Unmanaged diabetes can cause heart problems, stroke, infections and other issues, so ensuring that your levels are correct is important, so when LloydsPharmacy asked me if I’d like to go along to one of their branches for a Medicines Check Up, Cholesterol & Heart Check and Blood Pressure testing, I thought it would be a great opportunity.

Lloyds Pharmacy

When I got there, I was greeted by a lovely lady who took my blood pressure and checked my cholesterol and blood sugar levels – it’s a super simple process which needed just one finger prick to get the blood for the sensors and it’s over in less than a second. She also took my blood pressure in both arms to ensure she was getting an accurate reading.

Once the results were in, I was handed a chart which showed my results, and as it turned out, my blood sugar was a little high at that moment (probably because I was slightly stressed out), as was my blood pressure, but that’s normal for me as I get what they call “white coat syndrome”. My cholesterol levels were interesting; my LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) was borderline – not great but not a worry, either.

My HDL (the “good” cholesterol) was actually a little bit low, and it was explained that I could stand to increase this by eating good fats like coconut oil, avocados and other things, which in turn will reduce the amount of bad cholesterol, too! Based on all of my results, I was told that my chances of having a heart attack in the next ten years was 6%, which may not sound high, but it’s a number that I’d like to dramatically reduce.

After my results were in, I was handed over to the pharmacist who came in to do my medicines check-up, and this was where it got really interesting for me. I take several different medications to manage different conditions, but one of the medicines that I take for my underactive thyroid should be taken half an hour before any other food or medication, but in the 12-odd years I’ve been taking it, I’ve NEVER been told this! I also learned that, not only have I been taking my diabetes medications at the wrong times of day, I also should have been taking it with food each time. I’m a HUGE fan of the NHS, but sometimes the lack of time they’re able to spend with each patient means that things can get lost in communication, exactly like this. I was also given a Type 2 diabetes support pack to take away and read at home, containing lots more useful info for managing my diabetes. You can download the support pack here.

LloydsPharmacy Diabetes Support Pack

I can’t believe how much I learned in one short consultation and my medicine routine has changed completely now. I’ve spaced my pills totally differently so that hopefully they should have a better level of effectiveness when I take them and I’ve booked myself in for a repeat health check with LloydsPharmacy in 3 months to see if there has been any improvement with my levels. I’ll be eating more avocado, too! If you’re concerned about any health issues or management of any existing conditions, I can totally recommend a trip to LloydsPharmacy.

According to Diabetes UK, there are 1.1 million people in the UK with undiagnosed type 2 diabetes and LloydsPharmacy is on the hunt to find them! They will be visiting a city near you to offer FREE type 2 diabetes screenings as well as lots of useful information, advice and support. Click here to find your local event.


8 Essential Items in a Natural Medicine Cabinet

Making the switch to holistic medicine is a change that can benefit both you and your family. Otherwise known as “complementary and alternative medicine,” holistic therapies include acupuncture, chiropractic care, homeopathy, and massage therapy among others. However, holistic practices also avoid pharmaceutical-grade chemicals in favor of natural healing remedies. If you’d like to learn more about all-natural medicine and which items can offer relief, keep reading—we’ve curated our top essential picks to have on hand when times are rough.

  • Immunity Boosters

At the first sign of a cold, having vitamins C and D on supply in order to boost your body’s immune system and ward off sickness can be a life saver. Vitamin C (or ascorbic acid) is a powerful antioxidant, is helpful to many bodily functions, and can be found in citrusy fruits such as oranges. Vitamin D supplements are especially helpful during winter months when sun exposure is low—and germ contamination is high—because it enables your body to produce over 200 antimicrobial peptides, which are indispensable for fighting off a wide range of infections.

  • Flu Relief

If you do succumb to a flu or cold, have peppermint essential oil available to help with nausea. A few drops into tea have proven to alleviate upset stomachs, while inhaling the scent of peppermint oil can trigger a sense of fullness and suppress the appetite. Massaging several drops of oil into the inner wrists can sooth general nausea or motion sickness, and rubbing it into the soles of your feet may help break a fever. Eucalyptus—in either loose leaf or essential oil form—is great for soothing coughs and clearing lungs. When inhaled through steam, it can help clear out your sinuses and congestion. I recently read a great article about how zinc can also be a great natural flu remedy.

  • Indigestion

The next time you experience digestion issues such as heartburn or acid reflex, try taking ginger capsules as an antidote; ginger root is one of the best natural remedies for treating acute stomach problems. You can also consume ginger in a number of recipes to add a delightful kick to food (which is also great for your health!).

  • Pain Meds

Arnica montana is an all-natural homeopathic healer that has been used for centuries to treat bruising, swelling, and pain associated with soft tissue injury. Arnica pills are essential for when you need relief for painful strains or sore muscles. The plant can also be applied topically to treat insect bites, arthritis, muscle or cartilage pain, chapped lips and acne.

  • First Aid

There are a number of natural medicines to use for first aid treatment. Cayenne is a powerhouse that should be stored in tincture or powder form. It can be rubbed into wounds to stop bleeding (beware of burn!) and, when consumed, rapidly dilate blood vessels through increased circulation. Aloe Vera is a plant most people are familiar with for its effectiveness at treating burns. Look for gels that are free of added chemicals and preservatives for when you need cooling relief.

  • Acne Infections

When your skin is infected with the P. acnes bacteria strains that lead to break outs and blemishes, turn to your trusted tea tree oil. This miracle worker has strong antimicrobial properties that can kill bacteria long after it’s applied, offering a natural skincare solution. Be sure to dilute the oil with water before swabbing it onto your skin, however, or you could risk irritation.

  • Anti-Stress Support

Located in the pantry instead of the medicine cabinet, chamomile is your go-to herb when you need to lower your stress levels. Its flavor is great to cook with, and has a calming and relaxing effect. When drank in a warm tea, chamomile can sooth anxiety and sleep difficulties, too. Lavender is another flower great at promoting relaxation; sprinkle some into a soothing bath for an aromatic soak.

  • Multi-Vitamins and Minerals

You should always have an ample amount of multi-vitamin and mineral supplements in supply. Look for a comprehensive formula that can help improve your health and vitality all year long. Depending on your current condition, look for labels that promote:

  • Nutrient absorption
  • Sustained energy levels
  • Bone strength and support
  • Collagen production
  • Detoxification
  • Cellular growth

Nature offers a solution for the most common ailments in our day to day lives. If you’ve decided to forego the chemicals found in pharmaceutical products, give these holistic treatments a try! As always, refer to your doctor for the best advice regarding your health.