Whether you’ve just been diagnosed with diabetes or you’ve had it your whole life, it’s always important to keep up with the latest information. A great resource and often a hidden gem for unanswered questions is your pharmacist. Here are some questions that you can ask your pharmacist – and answers – to get you started!
Can exercise cause blood glucose to drop hours later?
Yes. Depending on the intensity and duration of your activity, you can burn glucose for up to 24 hours after exercise. With long or hard exercise, you use glucose stored in your liver for fuel. After the exercise is over, your body wants to replenish those glucose levels as soon as possible. If there is no food available, the glucose is pulled from your blood stream, which can cause hypoglycemia.
To help prevent low blood glucose, check your blood glucose about every 45 minutes after a hard workout and gauge whether it is going down, going up or leveling off. If it is going down, eat a few carbs and keep checking until you level off.
What are the best skin care tips when it comes to diabetes?
Diabetes can affect every part of the body, including the skin. As many as one third of people with diabetes will have a skin disorder caused or affected by diabetes at some time in their lives. In fact, such problems are sometimes the first sign that a person has diabetes. Luckily, most skin conditions can be prevented or easily treated if caught early. Here are a number of tips to help keep you healthy:
- Prevent dry skin. Scratching dry or itchy skin can open it up and allow infection to set in. Moisturize your skin to prevent chapping, especially in cold or windy weather.
- Treat cuts right away. Wash minor cuts with soap and water. Only use an antibiotic cream or ointment if your doctor recommends it, and cover minor cuts with sterile gauze. See a doctor right away if you get a major cut, burn or infection.
- When in doubt, see a dermatologist about skin problems to make sure you are healthy and your skin is in its best condition.
How do patients keep their feet looking and feeling good?
It’s important to see your doctor for a foot exam at least once a year and follow his or her advice on how to take care of your feet. Feet may become dry, which can cause the skin to peel and crack. After you bathe or shower, dry your feet well and apply a thin coat of plain petroleum jelly or an unscented hand cream or body lotion to help seal in moisture. However, make sure to avoid putting oils or creams between your toes because the extra moisture there could lead to a fungal infection. Also, don't soak your feet. This can dry out your skin.
You should check your feet every day. If you see any changes, including puffiness (swelling) or blisters, call your doctor. Don't try to treat foot problems yourself. In people with diabetes, common foot problems can get worse and lead to serious complications.
How can I save on more than 100 diabetes products?
The ExtraCare Advantage for Diabetes program is free to join and offers members exclusive savings, Double ExtraBucks ® Rewards on more than 100 diabetes-related products, prescription management services as well as recipes, member stories and pharmacist tips all year-round. To learn more and join, please visit www.cvs.com/diabetes.
Papatya Tankut is vice president of pharmacy affairs at CVS/pharmacy.
# # #