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DIABETES



In January 2001 I was diagnosed with diabetes. Having a parent who controls his diabetes with a needle, has heart disease and lost a foot due to diabetes complications made me realize I had to control my diabetes with diet and exercise now - before it was too late. I immediately made changes in my lifestyle. I began to eat better - omitting certain "bad" food/drink and adding "good" food/drink. I began to walk regularly. These changes resulted in my losing 40 pounds in one year. My blood pressure is also fairly normal now and my blood sugar is lowered to a fairly safe level. I check my blood sugar levels regularly. It is under control now. This will be my lifelong commitment to myself. I intend to lose more weight and continue to look after myself. If you are diabetic I hope you find the information on this page useful and encouraging.
The information on this page is taken from the links at the bottom of this page and is provided to you as an educational service. It is not meant to be a substitute for consulting with your own physician.

Diabetes is a chronic disease that has no cure.
It is a leading cause of death by disease in Canada.



Types of diabetes

There are three types of diabetes:

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas no longer produces any or very little insulin. The body needs insulin to use sugar for energy. Approximately 10 percent of people with diabetes have type 1 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body does not use the insulin that is produced effectively. 90 percent of people with diabetes have type 2.

Gestational diabetes is a temporary condition that occurs during pregnancy. It affects two to four percent of all pregnancies with an increased risk of developing diabetes for both mother and child.

Is diabetes serious?

Diabetes is a leading cause of death by disease. If it is left untreated or improperly managed, the high levels of blood sugar associated with diabetes can slowly damage both the small and large blood vessels in the body, resulting in a variety of complications:

-heart disease is two to four times more common in people with diabetes than without;
-diabetes is a leading cause of adult blindness;
-in Canada, people with diabetes account for 28 per cent of all new cases of serious kidney disease;
-worldwide, half or more of all non-traumatic limb amputations are due to diabetes;
-diabetes is a major cause of erectile dysfunction.

With careful management, these complications can be delayed and even prevented.
The first step in preventing the onset of these complications is recognizing the symptoms that may indicate you have diabetes.

What are the risks?

Risk factors for developing diabetes include the following:
being age 45 or over
being overweight (especially if you carry most of your weight
around your middle)

being a member of a high-risk group (Aboriginal peoples, Hispanic, Asian or African descent)
having a parent, brother or sister with diabetes
having given birth to a baby that weighed over 9 lbs at birth, or have had gestational diabetes
having high cholesterol or other fats in the blood
having higher-than-normal blood glucose levels
having high blood pressure or heart disease

What are the symptoms?

Signs and symptoms of diabetes include the following:

unusual thirst
frequent urination
unusual weight loss
extreme fatigue or lack of energy
blurred vision
frequent or recurring infections
cuts and bruises that are slow to heal and
tingling or numbness in hands or feet.

It is also important to recognize that many people who have type 2 diabetes may display no symptoms.

How is diabetes treated?

Today, more than ever before, people with diabetes can expect to live active, independent and vital lives if they make a lifelong commitment to careful management of the disease.

Diabetes is managed in the following ways:

Education: Diabetes education is an important first step. All people with diabetes need to learn about their condition in order to make healthy lifestyle choices and manage their diabetes.

Meal Planning: What, when and how much you eat play an important role in regulating how well your body manages blood sugar levels.

Exercise: Regular exercise helps your body lower blood sugars, promotes weight loss, reduces stress and enhances overall fitness.

Healthy Weight: Maintaining a healthy weight is especially important in the control of type 2 diabetes.

Medication: Type 1 diabetes always requires daily injections of insulin. Type 2 diabetes is controlled through exercise and meal planning and may require medications and/or insulin to assist the body in making or using insulin more effectively.

Lifestyle Management: Learning to reduce stress levels in day-to-day life can help people with diabetes better manage their disease.

How do you know if you have diabetes?

Early diagnosis of diabetes is extremely important. The earlier it is diagnosed, the sooner steps can be taken to manage the disease and prevent or delay complications. The Canadian Diabetes Association's Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Diabetes in Canada recommends routine screening every three years for everyone age 45 or over and screening every year for individuals with other risk factors.

Can you prevent diabetes?

Scientists believe that lifestyle and type 2 diabetes are closely linked. This means that lifestyle is one area individuals can focus on to help prevent or delay the onset of the disease. A healthy diet, weight control, exercise and reduction in stress are important prevention steps.


ARE YOU AT RISK??

You could be one of many Canadians who have type 2 diabetes and don't know it.
If you are aged 45 or over, you are at risk for type 2 diabetes and should be tested at least every three years.

If you have any of the following, you should be tested for diabetes earlier and/or more often:
I have a parent, brother or sister with diabetes.
I am overweight (especially if you carry most of your weight around your middle).
I am a member of a high-risk group (Aboriginal peoples, Hispanic, Asian or African descent).
I have high cholesterol or other fats in my blood.
I gave birth to a baby that weighed over (9 lbs) at birth, or I had gestational diabetes.
I have high blood pressure.
I have heart disease.
I have numbness in my hands and/or feet.
I have trouble getting and maintaining an erection.
I have symptoms of diabetes (see below)

Don't ignore these risk factors.The earlier you are diagnosed, the sooner you can take action to stay well ó now and in the future!
If you already have diabetes, your children, brothers and sisters are at risk.
Urge them to be tested for diabetes.

Today, more than ever before, people with diabetes can expect to live active, independent and vital lives if they make a lifelong commitment to careful management of the disease.
It is important to be tested for type 2 diabetes if you are at risk. Left untreated or improperly managed, diabetes can result in a variety of complications, including:

Heart disease
Adult blindness
Kidney disease
Non-traumatic limb amputations
Erectile dysfunction

Recognize these signs?

Signs and symptoms of diabetes include:

unusual thirst
frequent urination
unusual weight loss
extreme fatigue or lack of energy
blurred vision
frequent or recurring infections
cuts and bruises that are slow to heal
tingling or numbness in hands or feet
 

Diagnosis of diabetes

Show your doctor this fact sheet and ask him or her to test you for diabetes using one of the following tests.

Fasting blood glucose (FPG)
You must not eat or drink anything except water for at least eight hours before this blood test. A blood glucose of 7.0 mmol/L or greater indicates diabetes.

Casual blood glucose
The lab can do this blood test at any time of the day.

Oral glucose tolerance test
You will take a special sweetened drink. A blood glucose of 11.1 mmol/L or more two hours after this test indicates diabetes.

A second test must be done in all cases except in the case of acute signs and
symptoms. Once diabetes has been diagnosed, ask your doctor to refer you for diabetes education. The Canadian Diabetes Associationís brochure Type 2 Diabetes Things You Should Know will help you to better understand diabetes and live a long and healthy life.
Other healthcare workers (such as diabetes educators, dietitians, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, podiatrists, social workers) need to know if you have diabetes.



THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT TYPE 1 DIABETES

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT TYPE 2 DIABETES

LIVING WITH DIABETES

DIABETES TIMELINE

DIABETES DICTIONARY

Roche Diagnostics SELF-CARE ASSESSMENT QUIZ




DIABETES LINKS ON THE INTERNET

Canadian Diabetes Association
American Diabetes Association
MEDLINEplus: Diabetes
NIDDK Health Information Diabetes
Diabetic-Lifestyle



RECIPES FOR DIABETICS

Diabetic Recipes
Diabetic Recipes - Recipes by Catagory
Meals for you: Diabetic Recipes
KYoung's Recipes for Diabetics: COLLECTION
Diabetic Recipe Archive from the Diabetic Gourmet
All Recipes/Recipe Index: Sugar Free Cookies
Cake Recipe/Recipe Index: Diabetic Cakes
Bread Recipe/Recipe Index: Diabetic Breads
Equal and Diabetes

LifeScan Canada Bayer Diagnostics Products Accu-Soft/Accu-Chek



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