Canadian Diabetes Association

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The Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) is a registered national charity that helps the 11 million Canadians living with diabetes or prediabetes.[1] Its mission is to lead the fight against diabetes by helping those affected by diabetes to live healthy lives, preventing the onset and consequences of diabetes, and discovering a cure.[2] In the ongoing fight against diabetes, here's how the CDA helps:

  • The CDA's programs, education and services support people living with diabetes in their daily fight to live as well as possible with diabetes;
  • The CDA's world-leading Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Management of Diabetes in Canada represent the best evidence-based direction for health-care professionals;
  • The CDA's funding ensures Canadian researchers remain at the forefront of diabetes breakthroughs. Since 1975, the CDA has invested more than $125 million in leading-edge diabetes research; and
  • Advocacy efforts have led governments to develop policies that respect the rights of people living with diabetes and access treatments they need to live healthy lives.

History[edit]

In 1920, Sir Frederick Banting was working as a medical practitioner based in London, Ontario, when he first conceived the idea of extracting insulin from a pancreas to treat diabetes.[3] After several months of experimentation, and with the assistance of Dr. Charles Best, insulin was eventually purified for human use. The first successful test on a human patient with diabetes occurred on January 23, 1922. The death sentence for diabetes sufferers around the world had finally been lifted.[4]

With new hope at hand, Dr. Best realized that the growing numbers of Canadians with diabetes were going to require an organization to serve their needs.[5] In the late 1940s, the Diabetic Association of Ontario was formed.[6] As other provinces and territories started to form their own associations, it became clear that if the provincial branches combined their resources they could more effectively serve their membership.[7] This culminated in the formation of the Canadian Diabetes Association in 1953.[8]

Today, the CDA is active in more than 150 Canadian communities and supports people living with diabetes through research, advocacy, education and services.[9] They are supported in their efforts by a community-based network of volunteers, employees, health-care professionals, researchers and partners.

Known as “The Birthplace of Insulin,” Banting House, is where Sir Frederick Banting woke up at 2 a.m. on the morning of October 31, 1920 with the idea that led to the discovery of insulin. The CDA owns Banting House National Historic Site of Canada in London, Ontario.[10] People can visit this historic site and learn more about Banting's life.[11]

Programs[edit]

D-Camps provide kids with type 1 diabetes with a unique experience to help them learn to manage their diabetes in a safe and fun environment. For more information, visit www.dcamps.ca.[12]

Team Diabetes is CDA's national activity fundraising program that offers Canadians of all fitness levels the opportunity to walk, run or hike in events across Canada and around the world, while raising funds and awareness. For more information, visit www.teamdiabetes.ca.[13]

Clothesline is an innovative program that collects gently used clothing, small household items and electronics. Proceeds from the program support the CDA. Household pick-ups are free and can be arranged by calling 1-800-505-5525 or by visiting www.diabetes.ca/clothesline.[14]

CDA Expos are educational events in the community. Learn how to manage diabetes from expert speakers, find services you and your family need, and connect with others. For more information, visit www.diabetes.ca/expo.[15]

Diabetes Webinars allow you to log in from your home or office to join free webinars hosted by health-care professionals, diabetes educators and people living well with diabetes. For more information, visit www.diabetes.ca/webinars.[16]

What is Diabetes?[edit]

Diabetes is a chronic, often debilitating and sometimes fatal disease, in which the body either cannot produce insulin or cannot properly use the insulin it produces.[17] Insulin is a hormone that controls the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood.[18] Diabetes leads to high blood sugar levels, which can damage organs, blood vessels and nerves.[19] The body needs insulin to use sugar as an energy source.[20] One Canadian is diagnosed with diabetes every three minutes.[21] Having diabetes can shorten one's lifespan by five to 15 years.[22]

Types of Diabetes[edit]

Type 1 diabetes is found in five to 10 per cent of Canadians with diabetes, and occurs when the body is unable to produce insulin, a hormone that controls the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood. The cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown and it is not preventable. It most commonly begins in childhood and occurs when a person's immune system destroys the cells in the pancreas that make insulin.[23]

Type 2 diabetes is the most common, where the pancreas either cannot effectively use or produce enough insulin. It is found in approximately 90 per cent of Canadians living with diabetes. The causes of type 2 diabetes can be genetic, behavioural and/or environmental. It usually develops in adulthood, although more children and adolescents are being diagnosed, especially those in high-risk populations such as Aboriginal Peoples and those of African, Asian, Hispanic or South Asian descent.[24]

Gestational diabetes is a temporary condition that develops during pregnancy. Blood glucose levels usually return to normal following delivery, however both mother and child are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.[25]

Prediabetes occurs when an individual's blood glucose levels are elevated, but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. Approximately 50 per cent of those with prediabetes will go on to develop type 2 diabetes.[26]

Signs and Symptoms[edit]

There are many signs and symptoms that can indicate diabetes.[27]

Signs and symptoms can include the following:[28]

  • 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.[29] Even if you don’t have symptoms, if you are 40 or older, you should still get checked. It is important to recognize, however, that many people who have type 2 diabetes may display no symptoms.[30]

Symptoms of diabetes in children[31]: Diabetes affects children of all ages. Most children who develop diabetes do not have a family history of diabetes.

Symptoms of diabetes in your child could include:

  • Drinking and going to the bathroom more frequently than usual
  • Starting to wet the bed again
  • Lack of energy

If you think your child might have diabetes, see a doctor today.

Diagnosis of Diabetes[edit]

Speak with your doctor and ask him or her to test you for diabetes using one of the following tests. The amount of glucose (sugar) in your blood is measured in mmol/L.

Fasting blood glucose: You must not eat or drink anything except water for at least eight hours before this test. A test result of 7.0 mmol/L or greater indicates diabetes.[32]

Random blood glucose: This test may be done at any time, regardless of when you last ate. A test result of 11.0 mmol/L or greater, plus symptoms of diabetes, indicates diabetes.

A1C: This test may be done at any time, regardless of when you last ate. A test result of 6.5 % or greater (in adults) and in the absence of factors that affect the accuracy of the A1C indicates diabetes.[33]

Oral glucose tolerance test: You will be given a special sweetened drink prior to this blood test. A test result of 11.1 mmol/L or greater taken two hours after having the sweet drink indicates diabetes. A second test must be done in all cases (except if you have acute signs and symptoms). Once diabetes has been diagnosed, ask your doctor to refer you for diabetes education. The CDA also has many resources to help you understand diabetes better and live a long and healthy life.[34]

Complications of Diabetes[edit]

Having high blood sugar can cause diabetes-related complications, like chronic kidney disease, foot problems, non-traumatic lower limb (leg, foot, toe, etc.) amputation, eye disease (retinopathy) that can lead to blindness, heart attack, stroke, anxiety, nerve damage, and erectile dysfunction (men).[35]

Diabetes is a cause of:

  • 30 per cent of strokes
  • 40 per cent of heart attacks
  • 50 per cent of kidney failure requiring dialysis
  • 70 per cent of all non-traumatic limb amputations
  • Vision loss and blindness

Diabetes-related complications can be very serious and even life-threatening. With proper management and a strong team of family and health-care professionals, complications can potentially be prevented or delayed.[36]


References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mission". Canadian Diabetes Association. Retrieved 2016-02-19. 
  2. ^ "Mission". Canadian Diabetes Association. Retrieved 2016-02-19. 
  3. ^ "History". Canadian Diabetes Association. Retrieved 2016-02-19. 
  4. ^ "History". Canadian Diabetes Association. Retrieved 2016-02-19. 
  5. ^ "History". Canadian Diabetes Association. Retrieved 2016-02-19. 
  6. ^ "History". Canadian Diabetes Association. Retrieved 2016-02-19. 
  7. ^ "History". Canadian Diabetes Association. Retrieved 2016-02-19. 
  8. ^ "History". Canadian Diabetes Association. Retrieved 2016-02-19. 
  9. ^ "History". Canadian Diabetes Association. Retrieved 2016-02-19. 
  10. ^ "Banting House". Canadian Diabetes Association. Retrieved 2016-02-19. 
  11. ^ "Banting House Contacts, Hours & Admission". Canadian Diabetes Association. Retrieved 2016-02-19. 
  12. ^ "D-Camps - Home". www.dcamps.ca. Retrieved 2016-02-19. 
  13. ^ "Team Diabetes - Canadian Diabetes Association - Team Diabetes - Canadian Diabetes Association". www.teamdiabetes.ca. Retrieved 2016-02-19. 
  14. ^ "Clothesline". Canadian Diabetes Association. Retrieved 2016-02-19. 
  15. ^ "CDA Expo". Canadian Diabetes Association. Retrieved 2016-02-19. 
  16. ^ "Diabetes Webinars". Canadian Diabetes Association. Retrieved 2016-02-19. 
  17. ^ "Types of Diabetes". Canadian Diabetes Association. Retrieved 2016-02-19. 
  18. ^ "Types of Diabetes". Canadian Diabetes Association. Retrieved 2016-02-19. 
  19. ^ "Types of Diabetes". Canadian Diabetes Association. Retrieved 2016-02-19. 
  20. ^ "Types of Diabetes". Canadian Diabetes Association. Retrieved 2016-02-19. 
  21. ^ "Types of Diabetes". Canadian Diabetes Association. Retrieved 2016-02-19. 
  22. ^ "Types of Diabetes". Canadian Diabetes Association. Retrieved 2016-02-19. 
  23. ^ "Types of Diabetes". Canadian Diabetes Association. Retrieved 2016-02-19. 
  24. ^ "Types of Diabetes". Canadian Diabetes Association. Retrieved 2016-02-19. 
  25. ^ "Types of Diabetes". Canadian Diabetes Association. Retrieved 2016-02-19. 
  26. ^ "Prediabetes". Canadian Diabetes Association. Retrieved 2016-02-19. 
  27. ^ "Signs & Symptoms". Canadian Diabetes Association. Retrieved 2016-02-19. 
  28. ^ "Signs & Symptoms". Canadian Diabetes Association. Retrieved 2016-02-19. 
  29. ^ "Signs & Symptoms". Canadian Diabetes Association. Retrieved 2016-02-19. 
  30. ^ "Signs & Symptoms". Canadian Diabetes Association. Retrieved 2016-02-19. 
  31. ^ "Signs & Symptoms". Canadian Diabetes Association. Retrieved 2016-02-19. 
  32. ^ "Signs & Symptoms". Canadian Diabetes Association. Retrieved 2016-02-19. 
  33. ^ "Signs & Symptoms". Canadian Diabetes Association. Retrieved 2016-02-19. 
  34. ^ "Signs & Symptoms". Canadian Diabetes Association. Retrieved 2016-02-19. 
  35. ^ "Complications". Canadian Diabetes Association. Retrieved 2016-02-19. 
  36. ^ "Complications". Canadian Diabetes Association. Retrieved 2016-02-19. 

External links[edit]

  • Canadian Diabetes Association (www.diabetes.ca) is where you can find out information about diabetes and all of the programs and services near you. Find recipes, healthy living resources, summer and family camps for kids with type 1 diabetes, local events and more.
  • The toll-free helpline 1-800-BANTING (226-8464) can answer your questions from Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. ET, in English and French.