Pharmacy services
Diabetes advice
Whether you live with diabetes or want to learn more about it, our pharmacists can help you

Diabetes is a long-term condition that causes high levels of sugar in the blood.

High levels of sugar in the blood can cause both short-term and long-term medical problems.

Our pharmacists can also give you advice on reducing your diabetes risk and help those who live with it with their devices and medicines.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a condition that happens when your blood glucose, or blood sugar, is too high.

Our blood glucose levels are usually controlled by a hormone called insulin. People with diabetes don’t have enough insulin in the body or the insulin does not work properly, so the sugar increases over time.

There are several types of diabetes which include:

  • Type 1
  • Type 2
  • Gestational diabetes (diabetes that starts during pregnancy)

Type 1 diabetes develops quickly, usually over a few weeks. It occurs when the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas are destroyed.

Around 90% of people in the UK have type 2 diabetes. This developes more slowly, over a period of years, when there is not enough insulin in the body or the insulin produced does not work properly.

The risk of developing type 2 diabetes is increased if you are overweight or obese, particularly if you have a high waist circumference. You are also at risk if you are of South Asian, Chinese, African Caribbean or Black African decent, or have a relative who also has diabetes.

Diabetes can also occur when you are pregnant.

How do I know if I have diabetes?

Diabetes should be diagnosed by a doctor or a specialist nurse. You should see your GP if you have excessive thirst, need to urinate frequently, or are feeling very tired. These can be symptoms of diabetes.

People with type 2 diabetes might not know that they’ve got the condition because the symptoms are not always obvious.

If you have a close relative who has diabetes, or if you're overweight or obese, particularly if you have a high waist circumference, then you might want to take a diabetes screening test to check for type 2 diabetes.

Getting diagnosed early can mean that treatment can be started before long-term damage is done.

It is important to maintain blood sugar levels to prevent long-term complications such as kidney, eye, heart and nerve damage.

How can Well help you manage your diabetes?

Help to reduce your diabetes risk

If you don’t have diabetes, our pharmacists can also give you advice on reducing your diabetes risk. Some pharmacies offer NHS diabetes screening tests.

Support with devices and medicines

Our pharmacists can help you be confident in how to use devices or use diabetes treatments safely and effectively.

Private consultation and advice

Head into your nearest Well pharmacy. You can speak to a member of team privately about your concerns.

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