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November is Diabetes Awareness Month

November 18, 2021

Did you know that 11 million Canadians are living with diabetes or prediabetes? According to the International Diabetes Federation, diabetes is one of the largest global health emergencies of the 21st century.During the month of November, the South Georgian Bay CHC has been raising awareness about diabetes and providing resources to help manage it.

What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your body cannot make or use the insulin that your body produces. Insulin helps to control the amount of sugar (glucose) in your blood. Our body works best when the blood sugar levels are controlled. When blood sugar levels are too high, it can cause damage to small blood vessels, nerves, and organs.

Am I at risk?
Anyone with a parent or sibling with type 1 diabetes has a slightly increased risk of developing the condition.

Factors that may increase your risk of type 2 diabetes include:

  • Age (>40 years old)
  • Family history of a family member living with diabetes
  • Ethnicity (African, Arab, Asian, Hispanic, Indigenous, or South Asian)
  • High blood pressure or cholesterol in the blood
  • High BMI or overweight (especially if the weight is mostly carried around the abdomen)
  • Certain conditions such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, obstructive sleep apnea, acanthosis nigricans (darkened patches of skin)
  • Psychiatric disorders (schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder)

If you think that you might be at an increased risk of acquiring diabetes, ask your healthcare provider about getting tested. Anyone over the age of 40 should get tested for diabetes every three years and those with more than one risk factor should get tested more often.

To assess your risk, please

If you’re living with diabetes, it’s important to know who your diabetes team is and to stay connected with them. At each follow up visit, you and your team should review important pieces of information including laboratory tests, personal goals, and blood sugar readings to keep you feeling healthy and prevent future health issues.

The South Georgian Bay CHC’s Susan Puttkemery (Registered Nurse) and Sydney Lougheed (Registered Dietitian) discuss what diabetes educators can do for you and how a diabetes education team can support you with your prediabetes or diabetes.

There are several programs and services in South Georgian Bay that provide diabetes education and support including:

Understanding Diabetes and Prediabetes
November 30 from 2:00pm – 3:00pm
More Info and Register

Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions
December 7, 14, 21, 2021 January 4, 11, 18, 2022 from 1:00pm – 3:30pm
More Info and Register

Diabetes Conversation Group
November 29 from 1:00pm – 2:00pm
(the last Monday of every month)
More Info and Register

Diabetes Information Group with Breaking Down Barriers
November 23 from 1:30pm – 2:00pm
(monthly group)
More Info and Register

One-on-One Diabetes Education All individuals in South Georgian Bay can access one-on-one services from a diabetes education team. Ask your family doctor or nurse practitioner for a referral to the diabetes education program in the region. Clients of the SGBCHC can access these services at the Centre. All other individuals can access these services through the Georgian Bay Family Health Team.


  6. Images from: file:///C:/Users/Sydney.Lougheed/Downloads/WDD21-Toolkit-EN-final-1.pdf

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