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Helping you better understand diabetes

by News Desk
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About 3.2 million Canadians have diabetes, according to national data. In general, the number of people diagnosed with diabetes increases with age.

Diabetes is a disease in which the body cannot produce insulin or use it properly, resulting in excess sugar in the blood. This excess sugar in the bloodstream can damage organs, blood vessels, and nerves. This can cause complications to the heart, eyes, kidneys, feet, and overall immune system.

There are two main types of diabetes, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and a condition called prediabetes. Pregnant women can also develop diabetes called gestational diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in childhood or early teens, but can develop later. People with type 1 diabetes cannot make insulin naturally and will need insulin injections for the rest of their lives. This type of diabetes affects normal or underweight people. People with a family history are at increased risk, but the cause is often unknown.

Type 2 diabetes accounts for the majority of all diabetes. It typically occurs after age 40, especially in overweight or obese people. The insulin produced by the body is no longer used (resistance), and insulin production begins to decline over time.

It can often be controlled with diet and exercise, but eventually requires pills or insulin injections. Risk factors include age, inactivity, high body mass index (BMI greater than 30), high blood pressure and cholesterol. , family history, and genetics/ethnicity.

About 6 million Canadians have pre-diabetes.

Pre-diabetes refers to a condition in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. Taking steps to improve her lifestyle can make a big difference, but if left untreated or poorly managed, pre-diabetes can lead to her type 2 diabetes and related complications. may lead to illness.

The Canadian Diabetes Association recommends that people over the age of 40 be screened for type 2 diabetes every three years. People with additional risk factors should be tested earlier and more often.

Type 1 diabetes is tested based on symptoms. Pregnant women should be tested within 24 to 28 weeks of conception unless symptoms warrant an earlier test.

How do you know if they have diabetes???

Signs and symptoms:

  • always thirsty
  • need to urinate constantly
  • feeling extremely tired
  • weight change
  • blurry vision
  • slow-healing cuts and bruises

Type 1 presents abruptly and can be a medical emergency if confusion/unconsciousness is present.

Type 2 develops symptoms slowly. Often there is an increase in bladder infections and tingling in the hands and feet.

How can I prevent the development of diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is best prevented by eating a nutritionally balanced diet, maintaining a normal weight, and exercising for at least 150 minutes a week using a combination of both aerobic and resistance training.

Unfortunately, no method has yet been identified to prevent type 1 diabetes. Once diagnosed with diabetes, it can be controlled but not cured.

Diabetes can lead to many health complications.

  • stroke
  • heart attack
  • kidney damage
  • blindness
  • nerve damage
  • Infection
  • skin ulcer
  • oral health problems
  • foot problem
  • depression

Treating diabetes to reduce or prevent these complications requires keeping blood sugar levels as normal as possible. That means avoiding both very low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and avoiding very high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). Controlling risk factors and symptoms is very important.

Managing diabetes includes learning about the condition from doctors, diabetes educators, pharmacists, and support groups.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle:

  • eat healthy
  • do regular physical activity
  • quit smoking
  • Control weight, cholesterol, blood pressure
  • limit alcohol
  • get regular checkups
  • Check your feet regularly
  • Understand your medications – If your pharmacist specializes in diabetes, you can get a medical test for diabetes. A Certified Diabetes Educator is a recognized professional.
  • monitor blood sugar
  • Wear a Diabetes ID Bracelet (especially for Type 1)
  • Carry glucose tablets or sugar candies if you tend to have low blood sugar

Diabetes is a complex disease that requires a lot of care. A Pharmasave pharmacist can help you:

  • drug reviews
  • blood glucose meter training
  • injection training
  • sick leave management
  • Support all drugs.Usage and side effects
  • Diabetes management in everyday life
  • Describe disease complications

Talk to your pharmacist now!

Sandra Cox, Pharmasave Owner and Pharmacist, Certified Diabetes Educator, Nutrition Certified PN1, Certified Personal Trainer & Fitness Athlete. Sandra owns Pharmasave in downtown Huntsville with her husband Troy and her Cox. She has been a CDE for her 15 years and specializes in health and fitness.

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