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Have a question about your health?

Ask the Pharmacist

“Do I need to finish my medication if I already feel better?”

“How soon can I start exercising after having surgery?”

“Do I really need to take that pill on an empty stomach?”

Your Express Scripts Canada pharmacist is a healthcare professional with a wealth of knowledge on a wide range of health topics. If you have a question about your health or medication, chances are, your Express Scripts Canada pharmacist knows the answer.

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I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and my doctor prescribed me cholesterol pills. Should I take them? I don’t have high cholesterol.

Answer from Express Scripts Canada Pharmacist, Aaron Aoki:

This is an excellent question, and touches on the latest science related to diabetes, cholesterol and heart disease.

There was a time when doctors treated diabetes strictly by trying to control blood sugar levels. However, given that heart attacks are the number one killer of people with diabetes, experts have determined that reducing the risk of a heart attack and stroke should be part of how we treat diabetes.

In short, that is why your doctor may have prescribed cholesterol medication, even if your cholesterol levels are not elevated.

Of course, there is no magic pill that will cure you, but there is no reason why you can’t lead a long, healthy life with diabetes. It’s all about managing your risk factors:

  • Listen to your doctor. He or she knows what your blood sugar levels are, your family history and other risk factors.
  • Keep an open mind. You may not like the idea of taking pills or you may think it’s impossible to change your diet. Most people with diabetes have the best outcome by combining lifestyle changes, like weight loss, exercise and healthy eating, with medication.
  • Don’t panic. Going on a crash diet or intensive exercise regime could actually make you worse. Moderation is key, because you never want your blood sugar to be too high OR too low.

Fortunately, the same lifestyle changes that will help control your blood sugar will also help with your cholesterol levels and overall heart attack risk. If your doctor prescribes cholesterol pills, it’s OK to ask why, but always remember that their goal is for you to lead a long and healthy life.

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