November is Diabetes Awareness Month.

The number of Ontarians being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes is on the rise.  In Ontario, there are more than 1.5 million individuals diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.  This represents approximately 10% of Ontarians.  This number rises to 29% when you combine the number of Ontarians diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, prediabetes and undiagnosed type 2 diabetes.  That is close to 1 in 3 individuals! (Source: Diabetes Canada)


What is type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes usually develops in adults; however, more and more youth are developing this form of diabetes.  Individuals living with this condition are either unable to produce enough insulin (a hormone produced by the pancreas to help control blood sugar), or the body is not effectively using the insulin (this is called “insulin resistance”).  These conditions prevent sugar from moving into the cells, causing blood sugar levels to rise.


Symptoms of diabetes

Some individuals who have diabetes show no signs or symptoms of this chronic disease.

    • If symptoms do develop, the individual may experience the following:
      • thirst
      • frequent urination
      • fatigue
      • blurred vision
      • wounds that are slow to heal
      • weight change (gain or loss)

Am I at risk of developing diabetes? 

Certain factors may increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes such as:

    • age (being over 40 years of age)
    • family history of diabetes
    • being a member of a high-risk group (such as Aboriginal or Asian populations)
    • inactivity
    • being overweight (especially if the weight is carried around the waist)
    • history of gestational diabetes (diabetes that is diagnosed during pregnancy)

The Canadian Diabetes Risk Questionnaire will help you find out if you are at higher risk of developing prediabetes (a condition where your blood sugar is higher than normal, however not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes) or type 2 diabetes.  To access the CANRISK questionnaire online, visit Printed copies of the risk assessment are available at the North Algoma Diabetes Education Program or ask your health care provider for more information.


How can I find out if I have diabetes? 

Early detection is key.  If you are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, talk to your health care provider.  A simple blood test can detect prediabetes or diabetes.

Accessing diabetes care and achieving healthy blood sugar levels will help you stay well now and in the future.


Tips for COVID-19 and living with diabetes

COVID-19 has impacted how we access health care by decreasing face-to-face visits and group programming, including exercise classes!

Staying physically active during these times can be difficult, especially with cold air and winter (sorry!) soon to be upon us.  Consider staying active by accessing the online program of “From Soup to Tomatoes” from the comfort of your home by using this link:

As the Michipicoten Memorial Community Centre approaches Phase 2 of reopening, exercise classes will be resuming.


The North Algoma Diabetes Education Program, located at the Lady Dunn Health Centre, offers services to all adults living with diabetes.  Our team includes a diabetes education nurse, a registered dietitian, and a foot care nurse.  Individual education consultations continue to be available by telephone, OTN (video) or face-to-face.  Foot care services have resumed.  To find out more, please contact Renée at 705-856-2335 ext. 3108.

This Media Release