Thursday, 24 November 2016

Mission: Possible - 21 Day Challenge to help end diabetes

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to start a healthy habit over the next 21 days to raise awareness on diabetes, live healthier, and to help end diabetes.  

Mission Data:

November is Diabetes Awareness Month! 

11 million Canadians are living with diabetes or prediabetes.  And that’s not even counting the family members whose lives are changed by supporting those living with diabetes.  So many lives are touched by this chronic disease, yet so few Canadians know they are at risk for developing diabetes.  Each November, the Canadian Diabetes Association runs a campaign to raise awareness on the risks of diabetes, and what you can do to lower your chances of developing diabetes.  This year, the CDA is promoting a 21 day health habit challenge.  All that’s involved is a commitment to making a healthy lifestyle change and raise funds to support diabetes research to find a cure!  More information on this challenge at the Canadian Diabetes Association website.

What is Diabetes?

It’s a chronic disease where the body cannot make enough insulin or cannot use insulin properly.  Insulin is a hormone that helps to control blood sugars.  A high amount of sugar in the blood over a long period of time can damage organs, blood vessels, and nerves.  

Find out more about diabetes at our PCN Diabetes 101 class:

Are you at risk?

Not much is known about definite risk factors for Type 1 Diabetes.  But there are quite a few risk factors for developing Type 2 Diabetes.  Some we can have some control over, but some we cannot. 

Here’s a list of risk factors for developing Type 2 Diabetes:

• Have a parent, brother, or sister living with diabetes.

• Member of high-risk group (Aboriginal, Hispanic, South Asian, Asian, African descent)

• Have given birth to a baby weighing more than 4kg or 9lb

• Have had gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy)

• Prediabetes diagnosis

• Have high blood pressure

• Have high cholesterol  or high blood fats

• Have extra weight around abdomen, overweight

• Have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) diagnosis

• Have acanthosis nigricans diagnosis

• Have obstructive sleep apnea diagnosis

• Have diagnosed psychiatric disorders: schizophrenia, depression

Ask your doctor to test if you have diabetes if you are over 40 years old or if you have several risk factors after taking this risk test:

Don’t have a doctor?  Find one here:

Fight the Risk.  Accept the Mission Challenge.

Here are some healthy habit ideas you can try over the next 21 days. 

• Eat a high fibre breakfast everyday. For example, you can have oatmeal with fruit.

• Eat 1 cup of vegetables at each of your meals.

• Eat 2-3 servings of fruit each day (1 serving =0.5 cup or tennis ball size piece of fruit)  

• Go for a 10-15 minute walk at lunch everyday.    

• Try deep breathing or visualization technique to manage your stress.  Or check out other stress management techniques at

Find out other ways to eat healthier and live healthier at our Nutrition for Diabetes and Active Living class:

Start your 21 Day Challenge Now:

Your Team

You have a team of Registered Dietitians, Exercise Specialist, Registered Nurse, Registered Pharmacist, and Registered Psychologist through the SMILE program at the PCN.  You can access this team for support by asking for a referral from your family doctor.  

More information about the SMILE program:

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Indoor Walking Group in Devon!

Join our PCN Exercise Specialist, Corinne Cutler, for a Walk & Learn session at the Devon Community Centre on Monday!

This is a FREE session, bring a friend!

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

November is Diabetes Awareness Month - Exercise

Diabetes and the Effectiveness of Regular Physical Activity 

The short-term benefits of increasing physical activity for a person with diabetes:

• Lowers your blood glucose within one hour.
• Increases your energy and strength during the day
• Decreases stress, anxiety and fatigue
• Improves relaxation and sleep
• Improves overall well being

The long-term benefits if activity is sustained:

• Improved blood glucose (sugar) control.
• Helps to maintain or lose weight.
• Lowered blood pressure.
• Stronger bones and muscles.
• Lower risk of diabetes complications such as eye, heart, and kidney disease.
• Improved quality of life.

One of the most effective aerobic activities with the lowest dropout rate is walking.  It can be as simple as going for a brisk walk in your neighborhood.  Click here for an example of a walking plan if you are just starting out. Feel free to print it for your own use or share it with others.

Both aerobic and resistance exercises are important when it comes to decreasing the risk of developing or advancing Type 2 Diabetes as both help to improve the bodies insulin sensitivity.    

The following facts were taken from the Canadian Diabetes Association website:

• Low physical fitness is as strong a risk factor for mortality as smoking.
• Fitness level is one of the strongest predictors of all-cause mortality in people with diabetes.
• Physical activity can be as powerful as glucose-lowering medication… with fewer side effects.
• Regular physical activity, in conjunction with healthy eating and weight control, can reduce type 2 diabetes incidence by 60 per cent.

If you require help with getting started on an exercise or activity plan, ask your PCN family doctor for a referral to the Exercise Specialist on the SMILE team.    

Corinne Cutler is an Exercise Specialist at the Leduc Beaumont Devon Primary Care Network.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Diabetes Educator Day

November 2, 2016

Our PCN is fortunate to have four of our healthcare professionals who are Certified Diabetes Educators.

Diabetes Educators are an integral part of the health-care team for a person living with diabetes. They help people with diabetes to effectively manage their disease by providing ongoing and up-to-date education and support. Certified Diabetes Educators teach specific skills in areas such as monitoring and managing blood glucose levels, physical activity and the best way to manage medications including insulin.

Diabetes Educator Day provides an opportunity for the healthcare system and Canadians living with diabetes to recognize the unique role educators play in delivering diabetes management and support to their lives.

Diabetes Educators help your patients get the best out of life!

Our PCN Diabetes Educators are:

Andrea Shackel - Registered Dietitian

Sally Ho - Registered Dietitian

Nandini Desai - Registered Pharmacist

Cherie deBoer - Registered Nurse