November is diabetes awareness month across Canada, and world diabetes day is November 14th (Sir Frederick Banting’s Birthday – The man who first discovered insulin). The goal of diabetes awareness month is to draw attention and recognition towards one of our countries biggest medical issues. According to the Canadian Diabetes Association, nearly 9 million Canadians live with diabetes or pre-diabetes and 20 people are diagnosed every hour with diabetes.
Diabetes alone will prove the biggest test for the Canadian health care system, as patients with diabetes have increased medical expenses and complications throughout their lives. Diabetes is also the single biggest cause of vision loss in our society, secondary to diabetic eye disease. Patients with diabetes are at a higher risk for developing diabetic retinopathy, cataracts and glaucoma.
As a frontline health care provider, I’ve learnt that there is a lot of mystery surrounding diabetes and the health impacts of this condition. Many patients fail to realize the significance of their condition, and the underlying cause of why they developed it. Yes family history can play a role in predisposing someone to developing diabetes, but much of the condition (especially Type 2 diabetes) is lifestyle based, and this is the one area that we all have control over. Making proper dietary choices, and living an active lifestyle can all help to reduce your overall risk of developing diabetes.
To learn more about diabetes and diabetes awareness month, please visit the Canadian Diabetes Association.
Did you Know?
People with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes should receive an annual eye health examination along with a dilated retinal examination by an optometrist.
(Image Courtesy of Canadian Diabetes Association)