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Diabetes is a disease that affects about 3 million Canadians, probably someone you know. A new diabetic is diagnosed in Canada about every 3 minutes and 90% will be diagnosed with Type 2 (Diabetes Canada 2018).
Type 2 diabetes usually affects adults and is caused by the body's inability to make enough insulin or to use the insulin produced effectively. Insulin is an important hormone that helps control how the body uses glucose (sugar) for energy.
Why worry about diabetes?
Untreated diabetes may lead to severe complications, which may affect the heart, kidneys, eyes, nerves and possibly cause impotence.
Are you at risk? Click on the following risk calculator link:
How can you know if you have diabetes?
The signs and symptoms of diabetes may include unusual thirst, frequent urination, weight gain or loss, lack of energy, cuts and bruises that are slow to heal, tingling or numbness in hands and feet, and trouble getting or maintaining an erection. However, there may be no symptoms in the early stages. (Diabetes Canada 2018)
What can you do if you think you have diabetes?
See your doctor. A simple blood test may confirm your diagnosis and if positive your doctor and PCN nurse can help you in managing your disease.
The Diabetes Canada website is also very helpful and is easy to use: http://guidelines.diabetes.ca/patient-resources
In Medicine Hat and Brooks, we also have a Diabetes clinic at The Alberta Living Healthy Program which holds classes on living with Diabetes and have dietitians to assist with healthy food choices. 1-866-795-9709.
There is also a monthly Diabetes Community Meet Up at the Family Leisure Centre. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Many people live long active lives with diabetes. A healthy diet, regular exercise, monitoring and eventually medications are the mainstays of treatment to prevent complications and live an enjoyable life.
Article Submitted by Judy Howe, RN at Crescent Heights Medical Clinic