Friday, 29 November 2019

November is Diabetes Awareness Month!

November is Diabetes Awareness Month! 

Eleven million Canadians are living with diabetes or prediabetes. 

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.  

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:

• A parent, brother, or sister living with or who had diabetes.

• Being a member of high-risk group (Aboriginal, Hispanic, South Asian, Asian, African descent)

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

• Had gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy)

• Prediabetes diagnosis

• High blood pressure

• High cholesterol or high blood fats

• Extra weight around abdomen, overweight

• Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) diagnosis

• Acanthosis nigricans diagnosis

• Obstructive sleep apnea diagnosis

• Diagnosed psychiatric disorders: schizophrenia, depression

If you are over 40 years old or have any of the above risk factors, talk to your doctor.

Take the Diabetes Canada test.

Don’t have a doctor?  Find one here:

Our PCN health care providers offer education through classes and workshops that are open to the public; a referral from a family doctor is not needed to register for these classes.

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

November is Diabetes Awareness Month

Diabetes and the Effectiveness of Regular Physical Activity

Regular physical activity is very beneficial to those living with diabetes. The short-term benefits of increasing physical activity are: 
  • 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 with maintaining weight management when healthy eating is involved.
  •  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.  Here is an example of a walking plan if you are just starting out:   

Sample Walking Plan                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
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 body’s insulin sensitivity. 

Make sure to interrupt sitting at least every 30 minutes by getting up and walking, standing or stretching.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a very effective form of exercise at a higher intensity for shorter durations, as an option for those who are able to tolerate. 

Tracking your activity/steps throughout the day is another way of monitoring the amount of time you are active and for some it is a strategy for reducing sitting time by staying accountable.

Canadian Diabetes Association information: 
  • Low physical fitness is as strong a risk factor for mortality as smoking.
  • Higher levels of physical activity and 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 physical activity plan, ask your family doctor for a referral to the Exercise Specialist at the Leduc Beaumont Devon Primary Care Network.

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Penguin Walk

It's getting slippery out there! Winter is here in Alberta and with that comes a risk of falls on slippery streets and sidewalks. Here are some precautions to take:

See this video from our friends at Alberta Health Services on keeping safe this winter.

Please help keep your neighbours, friends and family safe by keeping your sidewalk clear of ice and snow.