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What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition that develops either when your body cannot effectively use the insulin it makes, or when it does not make enough insulin in the first place. Insulin is critical to your body’s ability to break down sugar it needs for energy.
- 7.3% of Canadians (that’s about 2.3 million of us) age 12 and older report being diagnosed with diabetes (2017)
- More men (8.4%) than women (6.3%) have diabetes1
What are the types of diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes
- 10% of those with diabetes have type 1 (insulin dependent)
- Close Family Member: Parent or sibling with type 1 or type 2 slightly increases your risk
- Who is prone to get Type 1 Diabetes? Children, teenagers, and young adults
Type 2 diabetes
- Over age 40: The higher the risk for diabetes
- Your ethnic background: African, Arab, Asian, Hispanic, Indigenous, or South Asian descent may increase the risk for type 2 diabetes
- It may develop in adults who are overweight
- Type 2 may be treated with medication, lifestyle changes, or both
- May occur in pregnant women. It usually disappears after the baby is born; however it can increase the risk of developing diabetes later in life for both the mother and the baby
How can I reduce my risk for diabetes?
- Stay physically active, eat well, maintain a healthy weight and go for check-ups. Over age 40? Get tested every 3 years
Who is at risk for diabetes?
- Being in a high-risk ethnic group
- a history of gestational diabetes
- vascular disease
- high blood pressure
- high blood cholesterol
- overweight and/or abdominal obesity
- giving birth to a baby larger than 4 kg or 9 lb.
- acanthosis nigricans (skin folds or darkened patches of skin in places such as the arm pit)