What is diabetes?
In a healthy body, carbohydrates in food are broken down into glucose (sugar). This glucose is then absorbed into the blood to become energy for daily activities. The body also makes a hormone called insulin to help carry glucose into the cells to be turned into energy for daily body functions.
When a person has diabetes, the process of using blood glucose for energy does not work properly. This leads to high levels of glucose in the blood and can result in long-term health problems.
Taking steps toward a healthy lifestyle, including eating well and being active, can lower your chance of developing type 2 diabetes (Canadian Diabetes Association) or diabetes complications (Canadian Diabetes Association).
Public Health Sudbury & Districts supports community-based diabetes prevention initiatives in the Sudbury and Manitoulin districts and the City of Greater Sudbury. Contact us at 705.522.9200, ext. 257, for more information on these initiatives.
Screening for diabetes
If you are aged 40 and over, you should get checked by your health care provider for diabetes regularly. Ask your health care provider to check your blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
As a starting point, use the CANRISK Diabetes Questionnaire (Health Canada) to determine your risk for developing type 2 diabetes, and start a conversation about your risk with your health care provider.
Reducing your risk of developing type 2 diabetes
Being physically active has the power to keep blood glucose in check and keep the body and mind healthy. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic physical activity per week, in bouts of 10 minutes or more, with activities you like doing. Encourage others to stay active with you. The Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines (Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology) provides more information on physical activity for adults.
Enjoy a balanced diet that is high in fruit, vegetables and whole grains and low in fat and sugar. UnlockFood.ca offers free nutrition information on a variety of topics. You can speak to a Registered Dietitian free by calling Telehealth (Government of Ontario) toll free at 1.866.797.0000 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday.
Smoking increases the chances of developing chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes or diabetes complications. The dangerous chemicals in cigarette smoke affect the health of the blood vessels and interfere with the conversion of glucose to energy. Quitting can be difficult and most smokers make several attempts before they can quit and stay quit. Quitting is a process and you can make changes, one step at a time.
At Public Health Sudbury & Districts, there are public health nurses at your service to help you choose the best way(s) to quit smoking. The Smokers’ Helpline (Canadian Cancer Society) also provides services that offer support and information about quitting smoking.
Follow a balanced approach for good health
Healthy bodies come in different shapes and sizes. It is important to create a personal balance to health among physical, emotional, mental and spiritual factors. Success in living a healthy lifestyle is not measured by weight alone. Instead, rate yourself by how balanced your life is in terms of being active, eating well, feeling good about yourself and getting adequate sleep.
Have you been diagnosed with diabetes?
You can visit the Diabetes Care Service at Health Sciences North for education and support designed for children, youth and adults. You may also find a Diabetes Education Centre or an Aboriginal Diabetes Community Centre near you by using the Canadian Diabetes Association’s Diabetes Community Resource. These centres provide education and support for people living with diabetes. For further information, contact the Canadian Diabetes Association for the Greater Sudbury Region at 705.670.1995.