Walmart Canada offers free screenings for diabetes on World Diabetes Day

By Jon Rumley, Walmart Canada Corporate Affairs

For many years, Nora Kraft-Arbeau suspected she might have diabetes.

“I always knew I was on the borderline,” the Walmart Canada electronics sales associate revealed. “Sometimes I’ll get a little tired and just want to lay down and go to sleep.”

Nora says the disease runs in her family. When she heard her local Walmart in Fort St. John, B.C., offered free health screenings with licensed pharmacists for early detectable diseases like type 2 diabetes, she took advantage of the opportunity.

“It was just a little prick on your finger,” Nora said. “Very painless.”

Walmart pharmacist Lynne Galicia conducted the blood glucose test on the spot.

“It was dangerously high,” Lynne said of Nora’s blood sugar levels. “I was quite surprised.”

A second test confirmed the findings, so Lynne told Nora to get additional testing at the hospital immediately.

“Having your blood sugar really high could pose a lot of risk factors to your health,” Lynne warned.

I go to Lynne for everything – I trust Lynne.
Nora Arbeau-Kraft, Walmart Canada associate

Diabetes is a disease in which your body cannot make enough insulin (a hormone that helps control the amount of glucose or sugar in your blood) or does not properly use the insulin it makes.

If unmanaged, diabetes can lead to frequent urination, blurry vision or having cuts or sores that don’t heal properly. The disease can also have serious consequences, including heart disease, kidney disease, blindness and other health issues.

“It’s not a reversible condition – it just progresses,” Lynne warned. “It’s important to keep things in check.”

November 14 is World Diabetes Day and that’s when Walmart Canada will be holding an in-store event to provide free screenings and consultations for type 2 diabetes at all participating Walmart pharmacies (excluding Quebec) and vision centres. Walmart pharmacists will be providing blood sugar screenings and an opportunity for customers to complete a CANRISK questionnaire. Walmart opticians will be providing self-assessments for general eye health and diabetic retinopathy and assisting with scheduling routine eye exams as needed.

Canada has one of the highest rates of diabetes among developed countries, with nearly 11.5 million Canadians living with diabetes or prediabetes.

Walmart pharmacists are offering free consultations and in-store blood glucose testing on November 14 for anyone who needs help managing or assessing their risk of diabetes. Anyone over 40 should be tested every three years.

“We’re in the best position to offer counselling advice,” Lynne said. “We walk them through the process of how to check their blood sugar and we counsel them on their prescription.”

Walmart's 1,300 certified pharmacists and affiliated pharmacists are available seven days a week to help Canadians get the professional advice they need. Many Walmart pharmacists are Certified Diabetes Educators who have completed extra education in diabetes management.

“Pharmacists are one of the best people to ask,” Lynne said. “We may not have all the answers, but we can lead you in the right direction.”

Thanks to Walmart pharmacists, Nora’s diabetes was diagnosed and now she has adopted a healthier lifestyle.

“I go to Lynne for everything – I trust Lynne,” Nora said.

“We’re always here and we’re always available,” Lynne said.

Visit your local Walmart pharmacist for more information.