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Are you at risk of Diabetes?

Posted by Eamonn Brady on

Eamonn Brady is a pharmacist and the owner of Whelehans Pharmacy, Pearse St, Mullingar. If you have any health questions e-mail them to

Do you suffer from any of the following symptoms?

Blurred vision, fatigue, lack of energy, extreme thirst, frequent trips to the bathroom (urination) especially at night, rapid and unexplained weight gain or loss, frequent infections, numbness, pain or tingling in your hands or feet.

If you answered yes to any of these questions you should get tested for diabetes. You may be one of the 50,000 people in Ireland have diabetes without realising it. Whelehans provide free Diabetes checks in store, no appointment is needed so simply call in for your two minute simple finger prick glucose test today.  


The problem of undiagnosed Diabetes?

Diabetes is hitting epidemic proportions as people are less physically active and more likely to be overweight than previously. People die needlessly or end up with debilitating conditions because they fail to get the simple diabetes tes. Undiagnosed or poor controlled diabetes can damage your heart, arteries, eyes, nerves and kidneys leading to serious health problems. Once diagnosed, diabetes is easily treated, and treatment is free for everyone in Ireland under the long term illness scheme.

What is diabetes?


Diabetes mellitus is a condition that occurs when the body can't use glucose normally. Glucose is the main source of energy for the body's cells. The levels of glucose in the blood are controlled by a hormone called insulin, which is made by the pancreas. Insulin helps glucose enter the cells.


There are two types of Diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2. In Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas does not make enough insulin. In Type 2 diabetes, the body can't respond normally to the insulin that is made, which is often called insulin resistance. This causes glucose levels in the blood to rise, leading to symptoms such as increased urination, extreme thirst, and unexplained weight loss and then the further complications in future


Type 1

This type of diabetes usually appears before the age of 40 and most often starts as a teenager. Type 1 diabetes is the least common of the two main types and accounts for between 5 and 15 per cent of all people with diabetes. You cannot prevent Type 1 diabetes. There is no known cause of Type 1 diabetes.

Type 2

In most cases this is linked with being overweight. This type of diabetes usually appears in people over the age of 40. However, recently, more children are being diagnosed with the condition, some as young as seven. Type 2 diabetes is the most common of the two main types and accounts for between 85 and 95 per cent of all people with diabetes. There is a genetic link, meaning it can run in families. Type 2 has reached epidemic proportions in Ireland because of lack of physical activity and the growing problem of obesity.

Long term complications

The long term complications of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are similar if not treated properly. Complications include angina, heart attack, stroke, diabetic kidney damage, diabetic foot ulcers or circulation problems in your legs and feet and diabetic eye damage which can lead to sight loss. By not getting diagnosed early, people are putting themselves at risk of these problems.

People with untreated diabetes have up to a five-fold increased risk of heart disease. Uncontrolled diabetes is the commonest cause of blindness in people of working age, treatment can prevent blindness in 90 per cent of those at risk. Diabetes is the second most common cause of lower limb amputation, trauma being responsible for most leg amputations. It is important to note that it is possible to minimise the risk of developing these complications by keeping diabetes under tight control. Annual check ups are essential if you are diabetic. This will ensure appropriate interventions are undertaken before problems occur.


Free Diabetes Talk and information event

Whelehans Pharmacy is hosting a free talk on Diabetes on Thursday May 30th at 7pm in the Greville Arms Hotel. Pharmacist Eamonn Brady will speak about the medication used with Diabetes while experts including dieticians, eye screening specialists and other professionals will discuss diabetes management. More details to be announced; keep an eye on this column in the coming weeks for more details. This is expected to be a popular event so we advise booking in advance by calling Whelehans at 04493 34591.


To be week I will discuss more about diabetes


Disclaimer: Consult your healthcare professional before making any changes recommended. Whelehans Diabetes Check is not a substitute for your full assessment by your GP

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