Diabetes mellitus (“diabetes”) is one of the fastest growing chronic diseases worldwide, and is related to significant morbidity, mortality, and health care costs. Diabetes is characterized by high levels of glucose in the blood (hyperglycaemia).
There are three main types of diabetes:
- Type 1 diabetes mellitus in which there is an absolute deficiency in insulin production. This disease can occur at any age, though it typically occurs in children and young adults.
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus which is associated with insulin resistance, with an initial increase in insulin secretion. However, over time, insulin insufficiency occurs. Although type 2 diabetes mostly occurs in people aged over 40 years old.
- Gestational diabetes which occurs during pregnancy. The condition usually vanishes once the baby is born. However, a history of gestational diabetes increases a woman’s possibility of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
Patient care interventions provided by community pharmacies can be defined as complex public health treatments usually provided by pharmacists to patients in the community pharmacy setting. In diabetes, such interventions may include health promotion and diabetes prevention, screening of at-risk individuals, diabetes management, patient education and support on self-monitoring, and medical referral, when suitable.