November is Diabetes Awareness Month across the world. It is a time not only dedicated to raising awareness about diabetes, but also a time to get educated, get screened, and take action to help end diabetes and its complications. In Canada, 1 in 3 people are living with diabetes or prediabetes, with Indigenous peoples having a rate of diabetes 3-5 times higher compared to other Canadians. Here at Carrier Sekani Family Services, the Mobile Diabetes Telemedicine Clinic (MDTC) continues to provide services to our communities that help to reduce barriers and increase access to diabetes and overall health care.
Diabetes is a disease where your body is not able to make any insulin or cannot use insulin effectively. This leads to high blood sugars that can lead to many health problems, including: blindness, heart attacks, strokes, kidney disease, and much more. Symptoms of high blood sugars include excessive thirst, frequent urination, unexpected weight changes, and fatigue. However, Matthew Summerskill, Director of the MDTC notes “Diabetes can go unnoticed or undetected with no symptoms, so it is important to get annual checks to make sure things are within normal range.”
This month, we can all take action to prevent diabetes and help support those living with this disease. Some ways to take action include:
Learn about diabetes: Diabetes is not just about sugar. Diabetes affects one’s physical and mental health. Diabetes affects those who might not know they have it. Diabetes affects your loved ones and community. Learning more about diabetes allows us to better help those living with diabetes.
Get screened: Know your risk factors for diabetes and get screened at least once a year. Risk factors include: being overweight, physical inactivity, age, family history, gestational diabetes, and ethnicity. You can get screened by visiting your family doctor or contacting the Mobile Diabetes team.
Prevent diabetes: We can all take action, no matter how small, in our everyday lives to minimize and/or prevent our risk for developing diabetes. This can include: learning a new recipe, go for walks, drinking more water, or cooking with your family.
Be a helping hand: Diabetes can be overwhelming and stressful, as it affects one’s daily life and is often difficult to manage. We can help those living with this disease in many ways including: offering to accompany them to medical appointments, providing emotional support, helping with blood sugar checks, and much more.
The Mobile Diabetes Clinic understands how complex and difficult diabetes can be. They provide many services such as education, community clinics, and screening for Indigenous people living in remote or urban areas. If you would like to get screened or know someone who would benefit from the MDTC, please contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or 250 562 3591 and ask to speak to a member of the Mobile Diabetes Clinic.
Last modified: Monday 29-Jan-24 10:19:46 PST