Diabetes concerns every family is the theme of World Diabetes Day and diabetes awareness month this November. The International Diabetes Federation is raising awareness of the impact that diabetes has on the family and promoting the role of the family in diabetes management, care, prevention and education.
Today, there are 11 million Canadians living with diabetes or prediabetes. Every three minutes, another Canadian is diagnosed. Chances are that diabetes affects you or someone you know.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic disease in which the body either cannot produce insulin or cannot properly use the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone that controls the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Diabetes leads to high blood sugar levels, which can damage organs, blood vessels and nerves. The body needs insulin to use sugar as an energy source.
At this time, researchers do not yet know how to prevent type 1 diabetes. However, type 2 diabetes can be delayed or prevented. If you have risk factors for type 2 diabetes, there are things you can do to reduce your risk of developing diabetes. Better food choices, regular exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight will help.
The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) started World Diabetes Day in 1991 in response to the escalating health threat posed by diabetes. It has since grown to become a globally celebrated event and an official United Nations (UN) awareness day. It is now the world’s largest diabetes awareness campaign.
Detecting diabetes early involves the family
- One in every two people with diabetes is undiagnosed. Early diagnosis and treatment is key to helping prevent or delay life-threatening complications.
- If type 1 diabetes is not detected early, it can lead to serious disability or death. Know the signs and symptoms to protect yourself and your family.
Preventing type 2 diabetes involves the family
- Many cases of type 2 diabetes can be prevented by adopting a healthy lifestyle. Reducing your family’s risk starts at home.
- When a family eats healthy meals and exercises together, all family members benefit and encourage behaviors that could help prevent type 2 diabetes in the family.
- If you have diabetes in your family, learn about the risks, the warning signs to look out for and what you can do to prevent diabetes and its complications.
- Families need to live in an environment that supports healthy lifestyles and helps them to prevent type 2 diabetes.
Caring for my diabetes involves my family
- Managing diabetes requires daily treatment, regular monitoring, a healthy lifestyle and ongoing education. Family support is key.
- All health professionals should have the knowledge and skills to help individuals and families manage diabetes.
- Education and ongoing support should be accessible to all individuals and families to help manage diabetes.
- Essential diabetes medicines and care must be accessible and affordable for every family.
Diabetes facts and figures
- 425 million adults (1-in-11) have diabetes
- The number of people with diabetes is expected to rise to 522 million by 2030
- 1-in-2 people with diabetes remain undiagnosed (212 million)
- 3 out of 4 people with diabetes live in low and middle income countries
- Over 1 million children and adolescents have type 1 diabetes
- 1-in-6 births is affected by high blood glucose (hyperglycemia) in pregnancy
- Two thirds of people with diabetes are of working age (327 million)
- Diabetes caused 4 million deaths in 2017
- Diabetes caused at least $727 billion in health expenditure in 2017 – that’s greater than the defense budgets of the US and China combined!
CSCE Diabetes Education Program
The Centre de santé communautaire de l’Estrie’s (CSCE) Diabetes Education Program allows all people with diabetes or prediabetes to learn the skills they need to take an active role in managing their condition daily. The Diabetes Education Program team is made up of a dietitian and a nurse whose mandate is to teach people with diabetes to take charge of their health and manage their disease. To do this, one group session along with personalized follow-ups are offered on topics. The program is available at our Alexandria, Bourget, Cornwall and Embrun locations.
To know more about Diabetes, visit www.worlddiabetesday.org or www.diabetes.ca.