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Diabetes and prediabetes

A diabetic older adult patient uses a continuous glucose monitor to check blood sugar level at home.

Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects millions of Canadians — and many more don’t even know they have it.

Caused by the body’s inability to control blood sugar levels, either because it can’t produce insulin or doesn’t properly use it, diabetes — when not properly managed — can cause damage to organs, nerves and blood vessels.

Type 1 diabetes, which prevents the body from producing its own insulin, is an autoimmune disease that typically develops in childhood. Type 2, which generally develops in adulthood, is more common, making up about 90 per cent of diabetes cases in Canada.

People have prediabetes when their blood sugar levels are higher than normal, putting them at risk of Type 2 diabetes. Managing those blood sugar levels can delay, or even prevent, Type 2 diabetes from developing.

For many, there are no signs or symptoms of the disease, which makes screening for it an important part of healthy living, especially as we get older. After all, with proper management, diabetes won’t stand in the way of a full and healthy life.

How we can help

Working collaboratively with your family doctor, members of our Health Team can help you proactively manage your diabetes — or help you keep it from developing.

Health Management Nurse – can help set achievable health goals, teach strategies for a healthier lifestyle and assist in managing diabetes.

Clinical Pharmacist – helps you manage medications for diabetes and understand both your prescriptions and natural medications or supplements as well as create a personal action plan, including lifestyle choices.

Registered Dietitian — through group workshops and one-on-one appointments, our registered dietitians offer nutrition advice and information around diabetes or prediabetes and can help you set personal nutrition goals.

Related workshops

Our free diabetes or prediabetes Ask a Dietitian group workshops cover basic information like foods that affect blood sugar levels and how to create balanced meals and snacks, as well as strategies for sustaining behaviour change.