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The State of Diabetes In Canada

Millions of Canadians are affected by diabetes, with diagnosis rates on the rise.

In 2011, more than nine million Canadians were living with either diabetes or prediabetes. Roughly 20 percent of these people had not been diagnosed. More than 50 percent of Canadians who have been diagnosed were between 25 and 64 years old.  Diabetes is a serious health concern in Canada, and its prevalence increases with age.

Diabetes In Canada Today
The latest statistics have shown males are more likely than females to develop diabetes and the provinces with the highest age-prevalent rates of diabetes diagnoses were Ontario, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador.

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, diagnosed cases of diabetes increased by 70 percent in the last 10 years. There was an increase for those ages 39 to 44, which is attributed to the increasing prevalence of obesity among individuals within this group.

It's been noted the incidence of diabetes overall in Canada has been increasing slightly, especially among children from age one to age 19 and among adults in the age group of 30 to 49 years. If the mortality and incidence rates continue at the same levels that were seen in the years 2008 and 2009, it's estimated Canadians with diagnosed diabetes will number 3.7 million by the year 2018 or 2019.

New Advances In Treating Diabetes
An experimental drug known as LY may be beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes. It's a hormone copy that may boost insulin action. This drug has had a 30-day trial with patients living with type 2 diabetes. Some received the new drug and some received a placebo. The patients who were given the highest LY doses had favorable and significant changes in blood fat level as compared to those who received placebo shots. In addition, triglycerides and LDL, two "bad" blood fats, dropped, and "good" cholesterol levels increased.

Additional Health Concerns for People Living with Diabetes
People who have diabetes are more than three times as likely to be sent to hospital with cardiovascular disease, compared to people who don't have diabetes. They're 12 times as likely to be in hospital with end-stage renal disease.

Diabetes also has risk factors that apply to other chronic diseases. More than one third of adult Canadians who live with diabetes also have two or even more other chronic, serious conditions. These include arthritis, mood disorders, COPD, heart disease and hypertension.

Only about 3 percent of 2007 deaths in Canada were attributed directly to diabetes. However, more than one quarter of people who died in 2008 and 2009 had reported suffering from diabetes. Diabetes doesn't normally represent a direct cause of death, but its complications can cause death.

Treatments for Diabetes in Canada
Most people living with diabetes can expect to have independent and active lives, as long as they're committed to managing their diabetes carefully. This includes:

  • Physical Activity -- Being physically active will help in lowering the blood glucose levels. It will also enhance overall fitness and reduce stress.
  • Education -- All people who have diabetes need to become better informed about the disease.
  • Weight Management -- Maintaining a healthier body weight is important if you're managing type 2 diabetes, states Diabetes Canada.
  • Nutrition -- It's important to a balanced diet of natural, unprocessed and healthy foods as much as possible, paying attention to portion size.
  • Blood Sugar Monitoring -- Checking blood sugar levels throughout the day is key to managing diabetes and preventing side effects.

Medication is also used in treating diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is treated using insulin. Type 2 diabetes can normally be effectively managed with proper meal planning and physical activity. Natural supplements can also be taken to help manage blood sugar levels, such as Gymnema sylvestre, bitter melon, chromium and cinnamon.

If you're currently being treated for diabetes or monitoring your blood glucose levels as a prediabetic, it's crucial to speak with your doctor before adding any of these supplements to your routine.

You can find a variety of natural treatments for diabetes at eVitamins as well as healthy food options to make managing your diabetes a little easier.

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