Diabetes is a chronic condition that stems from the body's inability to
sufficiently produce and/or properly use insulin which the body needs to
use sugar as an energy source. Diabetes can lead to serious
complications and premature death but those who have diabetes can
take steps to control the disease and lower the risk of complications.
Glucose enters the bloodstream, from food we consume. This is later on
used for fuel in the body. Our pancreas located near the stomach
makes insulin, which plays a role in transporting glucose to muscles, liver
cells, and lipids.
The pancreas then fails to make enough insulin or the muscle, fat, liver
cells fail to respond to the given insulin properly.
As a result, our body’s cells are starving for energy and over time, high
blood glucose levels greatly affect our overall health, damaging the
kidney, heart, eyes, and nerves.
More than 9 million
living with diabetes
There are four major types of
Type 1 Diabetes- Type 1 diabetes is a disease in which the pancreas does
not produce any insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps your body to control
the level of glucose (sugar) in your blood. Without insulin, glucose builds up in
your blood instead of being used for energy. Your body produces glucose
and also gets glucose from foods like bread, potatoes, rice, pasta, milk and
The cause of type 1 diabetes remains unknown. It is not caused by eating too
much sugar, and is not preventable. The current thought is that type 1
diabetes occurs when the body’s immune system destroys the cells that
Insulin therapy is required for the treatment of type 1 diabetes. There are a
variety of insulins available to help manage diabetes. Insulin is injected by
pen, syringe or pump. Your doctor will work with you to determine:
The number of insulin injections you need per day
The timing of your insulin injections
The dose of insulin you need with each injection
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a disease in which your pancreas does not produce enough insulin,
or your body does not properly use the insulin it makes. As a result, glucose (sugar)
builds up in your blood instead of being used for energy.
Your body gets glucose from foods like bread, potatoes, rice, pasta, milk and fruit. To
use this glucose, your body needs insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps your body
to control the level of glucose in your blood.
Complications of Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a progressive, life-long disease. High blood glucose levels can cause
complications such as blindness, heart disease, kidney problems, nerve damage and
You can reduce your chances of developing these complications if you:
Keep your blood glucose within your target range*
Keep your cholesterol and other blood fats within your target range*
Keep your blood pressure within your target range*
Take care of your feet
Have regular visits with your doctor, diabetes team, dentist and eye-care
Blood sugar levels are high during pregnancy in women
Women who give birth to children over 9 lbs.
High risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease
• Prediabetes is a condition where a person’s blood levels
are higher than usual. However, it is not considered as a
type 2 diabetes.
Like type 2 diabetes, prediabetes can happen without you
even knowing it, so being
aware of the condition and being tested are essential. This is
significantly true if you have prediabetes as part of the
“metabolic syndrome,” meaning you also have high blood
pressure, high levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol
(the “bad” cholesterol) and triglycerides, low concentration of
high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C, the “good”
cholesterol), and a tendency of getting abdominal obesity.
HOW TO PREVENT DIABETES
PREVENTION ALL STARTS WITH A BETTER LIFESTYLE
• EATING HEALTHIER
• BEING ACTIVE
• TAKING MEDICINE AS DIRECTED
• TAKING CARE OF YOUR BODY
• CHECK FEET TO MAKE SURE THERE IS NO NERVE DAMAGE OR INTERRUPTION OF BLOOD
• CONTROL BLOOD PRESSURE AND HIGH
• CHECK IN WITH YOUR DOCTOR AT LEAST ONCE A MONTH
• CHECK BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS DAILY BY USING HOME MONITORING DEVICE
How/what organs are affected by diabetes?
• Kidneys(direct result from large amounts of protein deposited into the
• Nervous system
• Long term complications include stroke, peripheral vascular disease,
hypertension, urinary infections, and coronary artery disease.
• The most frequent health risk from diabetes is known as cardiovascular
disease(diabetes can cause high blood pressure that then causes an even
stronger resistance to insulin)
• Diabetes lowers our good cholesterol and raises our bad cholesterol
leading to an increase of heart disease and stroke. This can cause the
arteries to become clogged with fat.
Diabetes Facts. (n.d.). Retrieved from Canadian
Diabetes Association website:
Diabetes. (n.d.). Retrieved from Health Canada