Ask the Expert: Can My Pharmacist Help Me Manage My Diabetes?


How can a pharmacist help as part of a long-term diabetes management plan to care for my health?


These are several ways that your local pharmacist, who is a trained health professional, can help once you’re diagnosed as being a person with type 2 diabetes – who faces a condition in which his body cells are unable to receive glucose (sugar) that is needed to produce energy.

Since the glucose levels build up in the blood, a person with diabetes needs to keep his blood glucose level as close to normal as is safely possible to prevent serious complications, such as cardiovascular diseases, kidney damage, blindness, nerve damage and foot amputations.

Here’s what a pharmacist can advise you on:

1. Blood glucose level monitoring

It is recommended that you monitor your blood glucose levels at home every day. If you need advice on how to perform self-monitoring of blood glucose, your pharmacist will be happy to help with tips on how to select a reliable glucometer for your lifestyle and getting started.

2. Answer questions on medication

If you wish to know more about the medication you are taking to control your blood glucose level, talk to your pharmacist. You can do the same with your medication for other health problems such as hypertension, high blood cholesterol, and so on.

As the expert on medicines, your pharmacist can answer your questions about how your medications work, their side-effects (if any) and what to do if you miss a dose. Your pharmacist can also tell you whether you can take two or more medications together.

3. Preventive information

Your pharmacist can help to explain about safe and practical measures to help prevent certain diabetes complications. For instance, he or she may be able to advise on soaps, moisturisers, blood pressure monitors and even nail clippers that may help enhance your self-care eff orts.

4. Encouragement and support

Talking to your pharmacist about your daily diabetes management plan can help you overcome any worries or stress that you might have over diabetes. Your pharmacist is there to lend support and motivation to help you cope better.

When you have a chronic disease like diabetes, it’s important that you continue visiting your doctor for regular medical follow-ups, especially to enable early detection of serious problems. Together with other health professionals, your pharmacist can contribute positively to your efforts to comply with treatment and stay on track for a long and healthy life.


Ask the Expert is where we answer questions on all aspects of your health and wellness. Send in your health-related questions to


Contributed by the Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society, the national association of pharmacists in Malaysia,

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