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Trends predict increasing diabetes rates

Wed November 21, 2012

Dear editor:

Currently, one in four Canadians have diabetes or prediabetes. If trends continue, this will rise to one in three by 2020.

Diabetes is a chronic and sometimes fatal disease in which the body either cannot produce insulin or cannot properly use the insulin it produces. This leads to high levels of glucose in the blood, which can damage organs, blood vessels and nerves. People with high blood sugar will typically experience frequent urination and will become increasingly thirsty and hungry.

Type 2 diabetes usually develops in adulthood, although increasing numbers of children in high-risk populations are being diagnosed. Doctors know that lifestyle changes can help prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. A healthy meal plan, weight control and physical activity are important steps in preventing diabetes.

Physical activity and proper nutrition are the cornerstones of a healthy lifestyle for everyone. With Nova Scotia having the highest rates of obesity in Canada, it’s important that every Nova Scotian consciously makes healthier and more active decisions.

Unlike many other chronic diseases, diabetes can be managed effectively, allowing people with diabetes to live long and healthy lives. When living with or preventing diabetes it is important to visit your doctor regularly.

Doctors in the province encourage you to stay informed, physically active and nutrition conscious, because good health starts with you. 

For more information, visit www.diabetes.ca.


John Finley, MDCM, FRCPC