Diabetes Is No Stranger To Canadians
Diabetes Diabetes is a complex global disease with many causes and no known cure.
It is estimated that more than 10 million Canadians are living with diabetes or prediabetes today. If you don’t have it, there is a good chance someone in your family or circle of friends is affected. Not only is the number of cases growing, so are the serious complications it causes. Diabetes is a cause of 30 per cent of all strokes, 40 percent of all heart attacks, 50 percent of kidney failure requiring dialysis and 70 percent of all lower limb non-traumatic amputations.
Diabetic retinopathy is one of the most preventable complications from diabetes. People with diabetes are also more likely to develop cataracts at a younger age and twice as likely to develop glaucoma, but the disease’s effect on the retina is the main threat. Diabetes is one of the most common causes of blindness in North America. It’s important that people with diabetes manage their blood sugar levels, blood pressure and cholesterol. Regular eye exams can also greatly reduce the risk of complications or prevent their progress.
For people with diabetes, keeping healthy requires a balance of nutrition and physical activity along with medication if prescribed and monitoring of blood sugar levels. Lifestyle is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes but family history, ethnic background, socioeconomic status, and environment also play a significant part. Living a healthy lifestyle can help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes or its onset, even by as much as 60 percent. A good place to start is reducing or eliminating sugar-sweetened beverages, which studies show increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
"Thanks to the shared commitment of people living with diabetes and their families, health care professionals, researchers, governments, and many others — people with diabetes have the opportunity to live full, healthy lives."
Advances in research
Since the discovery of insulin, Canada has been at the forefront of diabetes research, education, and management — making it an easier disease to manage today. Advances in technology are also changing life for people with diabetes: insulin pumps are now common and continuous blood glucose monitors are on the brink of widespread adoption. Canadian research is also part of the worldwide effort to develop an artificial pancreas, which will deliver the right amount of insulin exactly when it is needed. Thanks to the shared commitment of people living with diabetes and their families, health care professionals, researchers, governments, and many others — people with diabetes have the opportunity to live full, healthy lives.