VICTORIA – It’s as easy as reading the news or scrolling on Facebook – take two minutes to find out your risk of Type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes Awareness Month and World Diabetes Day on Nov. 14, 2015, provides an opportunity to learn more about risk factors for this disease and the impact it has on British Columbians and their families.
“B.C. is a leader among the provinces when it comes to tackling the issue of diabetes, and our government priorities include a focus on preventing chronic disease,” said Health Minister Terry Lake. “We’re helping the 400,000 British Columbians living with diabetes take ownership of their health by providing additional supports and services that work to prevent and treat diabetes.”
These supports include extending coverage of insulin pumps to patients 25 and under, developing provincial standards for diabetes care in schools, providing an incentive payment for doctors; and, increasing screening rates significantly, so that now about 85% of adults in B.C. over age 45 have been screened for diabetes.
“This disease does not care who it attacks. In 2014, I became diabetic after chemotherapy treatment, and I landed in the hospital with sky-high blood sugar,” said Pat Pimm, MLA for Peace River North. “From my experience, I’m glad diabetes can be managed, and through prevention and healthy living promotion, we can support people like me to live long, healthy lives.”
In 2014-15, the Ministry of Health spent $76.6 million on diabetes medication and supplies though the PharmaCare program – up from $38.5 million in 2003-04, or a 99% increase.
“We all feel the impact of diabetes in our communities and throughout Canada. Not only is the number of people with diabetes growing, but so are the serious complications they experience such as heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, blindness and limb amputation,” said Julie Knisley, regional director for B.C. and Yukon at the Canadian Diabetes Association. “We encourage British Columbians to find two minutes this month to take the CANRISK Type 2 diabetes online risk test and take charge of their health.”
“Diabetes can be managed by making healthy lifestyle choices, eating right and harvesting healthy traditional foods while being active in our traditional territories. Access to healthy food sources includes taking care of our lands and waters as an important part to the health of our communities,” said Grand Chief Doug Kelly, chair of the First Nations Health Council. “I encourage First Nations individuals and families to learn more about diabetes including risk factors and to create their own wellness plans that include physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellness.”
By providing access to high-quality, specialized care and promoting the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, government is helping British Columbians with diabetes lead healthier and better lives. The Province encourages families to be proactive with their health. By taking the new online assessment through the Canadian Diabetes Association, they can take steps to improve their health and reduce the risk of getting Type 2 diabetes.
Risk factors include:
* 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 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 pre-diabetes;
* Having other risk factors for blood vessel disease (high blood pressure, high cholesterol);
* Being overweight, especially if that weight is mostly carried around the stomach.
This November, during Diabetes Awareness Month, take a moment to learn about personal risk levels. By knowing the risk factors, British Columbians can make healthy changes in their lives to potentially prevent Type 2 diabetes, or reduce the risk of diabetes complications if they are living with the disease.
Take the two-minute test: www.take2minutes.ca
To learn more about the Canadian Diabetes Association, please visit: www.diabetes.ca