Fact Sheet - Diabetes
Diabetes is a condition in which the body either cannot produce insulin or cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. The following fact sheet provides a quick summary of different types of diabetes and simple ways to identify and manage it

There are three types of diabetes:?

Type1 diabetes:?The body needs insulin to use sugar for energy, Type1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas no longer produces insulin. Approximately 10 per cent of people with diabetes have Type1 diabetes.

Type2 diabetes: Occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body does not effectively use the insulin that is produced. 90 per cent of people with diabetes have type2 diabetes.

Gestational diabetes: is a temporary condition that occurs during pregnancy. It affects approximately 3.5 per cent of all pregnancies and involves an increased risk of developing diabetes for both mother and child.

How serious is diabetes?

If left untreated or improperly managed, diabetes can result in a variety of complications, including:

What are the risks?

Risk factors for developing diabetes include the following:

If you are:

  • Age 40 or older

  • A member of a high-risk ethnic group (Aboriginal, Hispanic, Asian, South Asian or African descent)

  • Overweight (especially if you carry most of your weight around your middle)

If you have:

  • A parent, brother or sister with diabetes.

  • Health complications that are associated with diabetes

  • Given birth to a baby that weighed more than 4 kg (9 lb) at birth.

  • Impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) or impaired fasting glucose (IFG)

  • High blood pressure

  • High cholesterol or other fats in the blood

If you are diagnosed with any of the following conditions:

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome

  • Acanthosis nigricans (darkened patches of skin)

  • Schizophrenia

What are the symptoms??

Signs and symptoms of diabetes include the following:

  • Unusual thirst

  • Frequent urination

  • Weight change (gain or 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 the hands or feet

  • Trouble getting or maintaining an erection

It is important to recognize, however, that many people who have Type2 diabetes may display no symptoms.

?How do you know if you have diabetes?

Early diagnosis of diabetes is extremely important. The earlier diabetes is diagnosed, the sooner steps can be taken to manage it and prevent or delay complications. The Canadian Diabetes Association recommends routine screening every three years for everyone age 40 or older and screening every year for individuals with other risk factors.

Is it possible to prevent diabetes?

Scientists believe that lifestyle and Type2 diabetes are closely linked. This means that lifestyle is one area individuals can focus on to help prevent or delay the onset of the condition. A healthy meal plan, weight control, physical activity and stress reduction are important prevention steps.

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 diabetes management.

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.

Physical Activity: Regular physical activity helps your body lower blood glucose levels, promotes weight loss, reduces stress and enhances overall fitness.

Nutrition: What, when and how much you eat all play an important role in regulating how well your body manages blood glucose levels.

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

Medication: Type 1 diabetes is always treated with insulin. Type 2 diabetes is managed through physical activity and meal planning and may require medications and/or insulin to assist your 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.

Blood Pressure: High blood pressure can lead to eye disease, heart disease, stroke and kidney disease, so people with diabetes should try to maintain a blood pressure at or below 130/80.To do this, you may need to change your eating and physical activity habits and/or take medication.


Selected resources:

Canadian Diabetes Association

The Canadian Diabetes Association ?provides resources and information for professionals and people who are suffering from diabetes.

National Life Building
1400-522 University AVE
Toronto ON? M5G 2R5

Phone: (416) 363-0177 /? Fax: (416) 408-7117


Diabetes Education Program A Wholistic Approach (DEPAWA)

DEPAWA is focused on creating awareness and promoting a wholistic life through the use of the Medicine Wheel. The Medicine Wheel is a sacred symbol used to help understand the changes that occur in one's journey of life.

Health Canada

Health Canada: Also provides resources and information about the different manifestations of diabetes in the Canadian Population.

1910C1? Tunney's Pasture
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9

Website: www.hc-sc.gc.ca/pphb-dgspsp/ccdpc-cpcmc/diabetes-diabete/english/


NADA ? National Aboriginal Diabetes Association Inc. Candians of first nations descent are particularly vulnerable to this disease.? NADA provides culturally specific forms of education to adress this issues among first nations.??

National Aboriginal Diabetes Association Inc.
174 Hargrave Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3C 3N2

Telephone: (204) 927-1220
Toll Free: 1-877-232-NADA (6232)
Fax: (204) 927-1222

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