Tuesday, November 09, 2004

November is a prime time to get checked for diabetes

Hinton Parklander, Hinton, AB The number of Canadians diagnosed with diabetes has soared over the past few years, and the people of Hinton are no exception.

Nation-wide, about two million people are known to have diabetes - that’s double from about five years ago.

Locally, there were 40 referrals to the diabetes clinic in 2003. Since only January of this year, there have already been 60 referrals.

An increase in obesity has been cited as one reason for this increase but, as local nurse Ruby Barnes points out, those numbers don’t necessarily mean diabetes is raging out of control.
It could mean more people are getting tested, so doctors are catching the disease more often. And that testing, said Barnes, could make a big difference in a person’s quality of life.

Diabetes is a condition where the body either cannot produce insulin or cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. If left unchecked, the disease will dramatically impact a person’s blood-sugar level.

“Anything above the norm in a person’s blood-sugar over a period of time causes damage to the blood vessels,” said Barnes, adding that this can lead to heart attacks, strokes, kidney damage and a variety of other health problems.

That’s why the Hinton Health Care Centre is actively promoting Diabetes Month, which runs for all of November.

And to help provide general information about the disease and to remind people of the importance of getting checked for diabetes, Barnes is organizing a number of awareness-raising events that are open to the public.

By Dustin Walker
Monday November 08, 2004

Canadian Diabetes Association

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