A visit to the pharmacy can help with maintaining and improving your own health. The pharmacy is so much more than just a place where people can collect it medications that have been prescribed and dispensed, or go to purchase products that can be used for health reasons. The pharmacy is staffed by highly qualified staff with have extensive training that can be used by people who choose to take advantage of this opportunity. The pharmacy is open extended hours and a visit for health screening purposes can be the gateway for further assessment and treatment that can be delivered after seeing your general practitioner (GP) or other doctors. The medical management of serious health issues is a task is best undertaken under the supervision of a medical doctor. However, pharmacy is an accessible starting point that allows people to have an initial check to determine whether further medical assessment and treatment may well be necessary. Some people, (especially men!) are notorious for putting off the job of having health checks. The consequences of this can be very important and can have a serious negative impact on a person’s ongoing health. For example, issues such as undiagnosed diabetes and high blood pressure may pose a serious risk and so early detection is vital. There are a number of situations where screening in the pharmacy may be helpful to uncover potentially unhealthy situations that could warrant referral for more intensive investigation and management.
Screening for high blood pressure (hypertension)
One example is hypertension (high blood pressure), which more often than not has no symptoms at all but may be seriously harmful to a person’s health. Risk factors include being overweight, smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol (especially to excess), a family history, the use of some medications, on the presence of some other medical conditions. If not detected and managed, high blood pressure can set up serious illnesses such as heart attacks, stroke, kidney disease and some forms of blindness. It only takes a few moments to have the test in the pharmacy, and this involves no blood tests – simply the use of a blood pressure cuff in a private room away from the rest of the pharmacy. Situations in which testing can be useful include screening to check for undetected hypertension (especially for people 40 years of age and older), a check for people with a family history of hypertension, tests where risk factors are present, and also to assess the effects of treatment (are blood pressure medications producing a reliable and desirable effect?) Sometimes it is also useful to check to see whether the blood pressure has become too low, which can contribute to dizziness and a tendency to fall, which can be very harmful especially for older people. Ask the pharmacist at Kersbrook Pharmacy for more advice about screening for problems related to blood pressure issues.
Screening for diabetes – blood sugar screening
To remain healthy, it is necessary for the body to maintain blood sugar levels within a relatively narrow band of readings. When the blood sugar levels become too high this is sometimes described as impaired glucose tolerance, but consistently elevated blood sugar may indicate that a person has developed diabetes. Diabetes mellitus is the name that is used to describe this condition, and for many people the diagnosis of diabetes is not made until later in life developing during the 40s and 50s or beyond. Diabetes has been referred to as a “silent killer,” because if left undiagnosed and unmanaged this condition can predispose a person to many serious health consequences. Conditions associated with poorly controlled diabetes include heart disease, strokes, kidney failure, blindness and vascular disease that may result in impaired blood flow to the feet and legs (in severe cases this may lead to serious consequences requiring surgery). It has estimated that for every 100 people with a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes in Australia, as many as 25 people may be living with undiagnosed diabetes. These people may already have complications of their diabetes.
Diabetes always requires medical management supervisors by a GP or other doctor, and will often require treatment using one or more medications. However, it is not always the case that a person with diabetes will require insulin treatment: In many cases treatment with tablets alone and be sufficient to control diabetes. If a person develops diabetes is it is very important to have periodic investigations such as assessment of kidney function, visits to a podiatrist, regular eye reviews and close management of other issues such as blood pressure and cholesterol. Generally, diabetes management is a team effort involving doctors, pharmacists, dietitians and other allied health professionals. offers fast and efficient screening for diabetes that can be conducted in the store. The test involves a finger prick blood test that is taken under playing conditions in a private part of the pharmacy, and the result of the test can be provided within minutes. In every case, regardless of the result, a qualified pharmacist will discuss the test results with you, explaining the meaning of the result and providing recommendations about what actions will need to come next. Taking a few moments to have the test in the pharmacy maybe life-changing. There are many circumstances where a person may be at higher risk for diabetes and it is particularly important therefore that these people should be tested. Known risk factors for glucose intolerance and diabetes include a family history, being overweight, age 45 or older, a history of high blood pressure, or being of Aboriginal or Torres Straight Islander heritage (and also some other ethnic backgrounds). Some medications (for example, prednisolone) can influence blood sugar control too. To be tested at Kersbrook Pharmacy is simple easy, talk to our staff (or click here to send an email requesting a follow-up contact).
Screening for high cholesterol
Everyone has cholesterol in their blood. Cholesterol and triglycerides are a form of lipid (fat) that is both produced by person’s body and also taken in in the form of food. Sometimes the amount of cholesterol can a rise to a point where this represents a risk to a persons health, in particular raising the risk for serious complications such as heart disease (including heart attack or myocardial infarction) in stroke. The risk of these complications is also increased if the person has other risk factors present. For example, the likelihood of problems is dramatically increased to the person also is overweight, has high blood pressure, or has diabetes. The chance of these serious complications is also greatly increased if person smokes cigarettes or drinks too much alcohol. Although there are many things a person can do to help manage high cholesterol, for example losing weight, changing their diet, smoking cessation, and increased physical activity, sometimes it will be necessary for this condition to be managed with medication under the supervision of your doctor. However, high cholesterol (like high blood pressure and undetected diabetes) is often a silent contributor to risk for serious health problems. A simple finger prick test performed in a private section of the Kersbrook Pharmacy can be a way to detect these problems and for the pharmacist then to make a referral to your doctor for further attention. The pharmacist can also assist with other actions that you can take to improve your own health – these can include assistance with giving up smoking all losing weight. Talk to the staff at the pharmacy today if you’d like to have this test or to get further information. You can also click here to request follow up from our pharmacy.
Maintaining a Healthy Body Weight
Recent information has confirmed that Australia has a problem with maintaining healthy body weight – as many as 65% of Australians may fit the criteria to suggest that they are overweight or obese. As well as being a serious this Factor for many important health problems such as heart disease, stroke, and other serious health issues, being overweight can contribute to a lower quality of life, negative self image, and an increased tendency to problems with bones and joints such as osteoarthritis (which can reduce a person’s ability to exercise, and can compound the likelihood of weight gain). Sometimes it can be very disheartening to think about these issues, but every journey has to begin with a few steps. At the Kersbrook pharmacy, our professional staff can help to start a new life for you by providing assistance with weight management. An individual consultation can be set up where the pharmacist can measure body weight, height, waist circumference and blood pressure. The pharmacist will calculate the body mass index (BMI) and discuss the meaning of the results with you in a private setting. Depending on the results, it may be that the pharmacist refers you for further attention from your doctor. In other cases, you can work with our professional staff to set up a weight loss program that could include diet modifications, health supplements, and other strategies. Ask to speak to the pharmacist about this today in the Kersbrook pharmacy if you feel that you would like to make this positive step towards better well-being. Click here for further information.
Did you know that your genetic makeup can have a big influence on the way you respond to medications? Your genes are inherited from your ancestors and can significantly change the way in which a medication is handled in the body. Depending on the type of genes involved, this may mean that you are more likely to experience side effects from a particular medication, or that you are relatively resistant to the effects of some classes of medication. Sometimes the genetic inheritance can mean that the dosage of a medication may need to be adjusted to suit your specific requirements (Kersbrook Pharmacy is a compounding pharmacy that can produce precise medications that are tailored to your doctor’s exact specifications). The test is very simple and involves a swab taken with a cotton bud from your cheek. The sample is sent to a laboratory and the result can be available within a week. Because the information relates to your genes, the results will be relevant for the rest of your life and may also have implications for your children. If you would like to find out more about this type of test, ask to speak to our pharmacist in store, or click here for further information.
Other in store screening
A range of other screening procedures are available in the Kersbrook pharmacy to help you maintain your health, and to detect early signs of health problems. That can be arranged in the pharmacy include:
- A simple screening test to detect serious eyesight issues (macular degeneration)
- Screening test to detect changes in heart rhythm that are common amongst older people (atrial fibrillation or AF)
- Simple Lung function tests
- Monitoring of the effects of anticoagulant (blood thinner) medication
The Kersbrook pharmacy professional staff want to partner with you to achieve your best health. Why not talk to us today about these options?