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A High-Level Look at Diabetes

Over three million Canadians suffer from diabetes. That’s nearly a tenth of the population! Having diabetes increases the likelihood of developing heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, amputation and erectile dysfunction, amongst many other health complications. About one third of Canadians with diabetes are not aware of their condition. Detecting diabetes early and managing it well over time can lessen the effects it has on your body. With that in mind, today Novus will be providing you with a high-level look at all the things you need to know about diabetes.

What Are The Screening Guidelines for Type 1 Diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease typically diagnosed in children or youth, and is treated using insulin. Preventive screening for type 1 diabetes is not recommended by the Canadian Diabetes Association’s last clinical practice guidelines as there are no current treatments to delay or prevent its onset. If you have a first degree relative (sibling, parent, grandparent, etc.) who has been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, consult your doctor about your own risks.

What Are The Screening Guidelines for Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is more common than type 1, and generally treatable. Increasing rates of type 2 diabetes may be related to growing population obesity, poor dietary choices, physical inactivity, heart disease and genetic predisposition. The Canadian Diabetes Association recommends screening at age 40 to establish a blood sugar baseline measurement and once every three years thereafter.

If you have heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, excessive abdominal weight, or a family history of diabetes, amongst other factors, consider early or more frequent screening.

What Kind of Screening is Involved?

Typically, your doctor will begin by your risk factors and talk to you about your symptoms and overall health history. Symptoms commonly associated with diabetes include unusual thirst, frequent urination, changes in weight, extreme fatigue, vision problems, frequent or recurring infections, increased healing time after minor injury, amongst others.

Next, your doctor will check your blood sugar (glucose), which is the amount of glucose found in your blood at any given point in time. Typically, blood sugar measured through a blood sample test.

Stay Healthy

As diabetes affects a significant portion of Canadians, understanding the condition and associated best practices is very important for maintaining good health. Today’s overview was a high-level look at diabetes.

Is it time to get checked?

Learn more about screening guidelines for women and men.

For more health information, visit the health section of our blog!

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