November is National Diabetes Month and whether if you have diabetes or not, low and high blood sugar levels can be warning signs to very serious health problems such as stroke, heart disease and kidney problems. So this is why it is important to always have your blood sugar checked regularly and more so if you are overweight or have a family history of diabetes.

“Your blood sugar level is the amount of glucose present in your blood,” explains Waheed Abdurahman, Clicks pharmacist. “It’s normal for blood sugar levels to rise and drop during the day, but dramatic fluctuations may indicate problems. A normal blood glucose level for a healthy person is somewhere between 65 mg/dl and 105 mg/dl.”

“If you suffer from sugar spikes or low/high blood sugar levels, a healthy diet and at least fifteen minutes of exercise per day will help to regulate your blood sugar levels,” he says. He also advises regular blood sugar screenings.

So get your sugar levels checked this month and be in the know. Clicks have a range of services from a Comprehensive Diabetes Screening, which checks blood pressure, BMI, Glucose and Foot Screening (R60) to a simple glucose screening (R45) and an HbA1C testing at selected clinics that does not require fasting (R130). Clicks also provide diabetes products that include diagnostics – glucometers/strips, supplements – dietary products and sugarless sweets, meal replacements such as slimming shakes and foot care – insoles.

Until then with your National Diabetes Month underway with Clicks leading the charge here are some tips to keep your blood sugar levels healthy:

Make smarter food choices – drink at least two servings of low fat dairy products a day and buy bread products which slow down absorption of glucose and decrease possible insulin rises.

Consider magnesium – studies have shown that magnesium, found in nuts, green leafy vegetables and avocado pears, reduce the risk of diabetes by about 10 percent.

Take cinnamon supplements – known to help blood-glucose levels drop.

Walk more – moderate exercise leads to better control of blood sugar.

Fat reductions – Cut out extra fat and reduce your saturated fats intake.

Don’t miss a meal – Eat more regularly and have smaller meals more often. Your blood sugar levels drop when you are hungry.

Ask your Clicks Pharmacist for advice on treatment and management of your blood sugar levels or make an appointment with a Clicks Clinic Sister for a Glucose Screening. For more info, call 0860 254 257 or visit www.clicks.co.za.