World Diabetes Day is held annually to raise awareness of diabetes and its complications and the care that people with this condition need. It is observed on November 14th each year. Diabetes is a condition that often goes undetected so you could be one of the many Canadians who have diabetes and do not know it.
So, what are the risk factors for type 1 diabetes? Researchers continue to work hard to find out what causes type 1 diabetes. It is known that having a family member (parent, sibling) with type 1 diabetes slightly increases the risk; however, definite risk factors are currently not known.
What are the risk factors for type 2 diabetes? Anyone over the age of 40 should be tested for diabetes every three years. Anyone who has one or more risk factors should be tested more frequently. Risk factors are:
• Having a parent, brother, or sister with diabetes;
• Being a member of a high-risk group (Aboriginal, Hispanic, South Asian, Asian, or African descent);
• Having health complications that are associated with diabetes;
• Having given birth to a baby that weighed more than four kilograms (nine pounds) at birth or having had gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy);
• Having been diagnosed with prediabetes (impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glucose);
• Having high blood pressure;
• Having high cholesterol or other fats in the blood;
• Being overweight, especially if that weight is mostly carried around the mid-section;
• Having been diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome;
• Having been diagnosed with Acanthosis nigricans (darkened patches of skin);
• Having been diagnosed with psychiatric disorders: schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder;
• Having been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea;
• Having been prescribed a glucocorticoid medication by a doctor.
Do not ignore these risk factors. If you think you might be at risk for developing diabetes, complete the Canadian Diabetes Risk Questionnaire. www.diabetes.ca/take-the-test/. The earlier you are diagnosed, the sooner you can take action to stay well – now and in the future. If you already have type 2 diabetes, your children and siblings are at risk. Urge them to be tested for diabetes.
There are many signs and symptoms that can indicate diabetes. Signs and symptoms can include the following:
• Unusual thirst
• Frequent urination
• Weight change (gain or loss)
• Extreme fatigue or lack of energy
• Blurred vision
• Frequent or recurring infections
• Cuts and bruises that are slow to heal
• Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
• Trouble getting or maintaining an erection
If you have any of these symptoms, it is important to contact your health-care provider right away. Even if you do not have symptoms, if you are 40 or older, you should still get checked particularly if you are in any of the “risk” categories.
Belleville Public Library is pleased to welcome a lawyer representative from the Community Advocacy and Legal Centre who will come and speak about Wills and Powers of Attorney on Wed. Nov. 15 at 2:30 pm. This free session requires no registration. For more information call (613) 968-6731 extension 2037.
The Beaufort Pub is helping CCSH raise funds for the local United Way campaign. On Friday November 24th they will donate 5 percent of all sales to this cause. Join us for lunch or pop over in the evening for a hearty meal and beverage and support our efforts. If you really want to fit in, put on your Elvis sideburns and sunglasses.