Yesterday, November 14, marked World Diabetes Day.
"November 14 was chosen because it's the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting and he was the Canadian researcher who discovered insulin 95 years ago in 1921. This was a pivotal moment in the life of anyone with diabetes because before then, Type 1 diabetes was a death sentence. The body simply didn't create insulin and so the blood sugar levels would slowly kill you. That's what November 14 recognizes," explained Scott McRae, Regional Director with the Canadian Diabetes Association.
There at three different main types of diabetes.
"Type 1 diabetes is where more essentially the body attacks itself and kills of its ability to produce insulin. Insulin is a chemical that regulates blood sugar in the body. You need insulin injections to be able to continue to survive and manager blood sugars," mentioned McRae. "Type 2 diabetes is the more prevalent diabetes where people become insulin resistant, so they're not able to produce as much or become more sensitive. They are then less able to manage the blood sugar levels. There's also during pregnancy, Gestational diabetes, which is a temporary diabetes. It can come on during pregnancy."
McRae reported to 99.5 Drum FM that the risk of getting diabetes is split in two.
"There's modifiable risk factors like your lifestyle, so your diet, exercise and weight that can be indicators that you could be pre-disposed to diabetes," added McRae. "If you've got a family history of diabetes, you may be pre-disposed to it. As well as anyone over the age of 40 is at a higher risk. Diabetes can come in at anytime. Some of the classic symptoms you see are frequent urination, extreme thirst, if you're tired all the time, feeling very lethargic and if your body isn't healing properly."
Most individuals who don't live with or have experienced diabetes really have an understanding on what it looks like.
"I think there is a lot of individuals out there who have a strong idea of what diabetes looks like; heavy (and) inactive individuals who are older. Yes, that is one face of diabetes, but diabetes can happen to anyone," expressed McRae. "We really strongly encourage individuals to find out the risk factors (and) take the risk test at www.diabetestest.ca to get a better understanding at where their risks lie. This is a serious chronic disease, you can live very well with it, but proper management is critical."