Diabetes could be called the ignored killer
More than 2 million Canadians have diabetes. Of the people with diabetes, 10% have type 1 diabetes which is usually diagnosed in children and adolescents. Type 1 occurs when the pancreas is unable to produce insulin, which the body uses to covert sugar into energy. Type 1 sufferers require daily shots of insulin.
Type 2 diabetes, often referred to as adult onset diabetes, affects 90% of all diabetes sufferers. In this type either the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin or the body cannot effectively use the insulin that is produced. Type 2 is also sometimes called ‘lifestyle diabetes’ as sedentary lifestyles and being overweight are factors in who it affects. Our increasingly sedentary lifestyles have led to a sad development with children as young as nine are now being diagnosed with type 2. Type 2, for some inexplicable reason, is also very prevalent in the Aboriginal, African, Hispanic, Asian and South Asian ethnic groups.
Persons with diabetes can face costs of up to $1,000 to $15,000 a year for their medication and supplies. A U.S. study estimates the cost of diabetes and its related complications to the Canadian health care system as $13.2 billion annually. By 2010 those costs may rise to an estimated 15.6 billion and by 2020 - $19.2 billion a year. If not properly managed or treated diabetes can result in kidney, heart and eye diseases, impotence and extensive nerve and vascular damage.
Diabetes is one of the leading causes of death in Canada. Approximately 80% of people with diabetes will die as a result of heart disease or stroke and is the contributing factor in the deaths of approximately 41,500 Canadians annually. Type 1 sufferers can have can have their life expectancies shortened by as much as 15 years, and type 2 sufferers somewhere between 5 and 10 years.
Educate yourself, your family and friends about the risks of this disease. Keep an eye on the risk factors in your own life, get active and get healthy. (or stay healthy if the case may be) For more information visit:
www.diabetes.ca (English, French and Chinese)
www.diabetes.org (for the USA in English and Spanish)
www.diabetes.org.uk (English, Bengali, Chinese, Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu and Welsh)
www.diabetesaustralia.com.au (Above languages plus Arabic, Croatian, Greek, Italian, Malaysian, Serbian, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian and Vietnamese)
http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/ (In the USA)