Diabetes Rates on the Rise in Manitoba

Vials of insulin. (Credit: Mr Hyde/Wikimedia Commons)

Within Manitoba, diabetes rates continue to rise. In 2016, an estimated 121,000 individuals suffered from diabetes, and this number is predicted to increase to 125,000 in 2017. The Canadian Diabetes Association is predicting that within the next decade that rates of Manitobans affected will increase by 35%.

There are two main types of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 diabetes occurs when little to no insulin is produced by the body. As a result, sugar is not used as energy and instead builds up within the body. Type 1 diabetes is treated with insulin and management of one’s diet to keep sugar levels low. Only 5-10% of those affected by diabetes have Type 1, the rest are affected by Type 2 diabetes. The cause of Type 1 diabetes remains unknown.

Type 2 diabetes causes sugar to build up within the body due to its inability to properly make use of the insulin that is released, or if the body cannot produce enough insulin. Type 2 diabetes can be managed with proper diet and exercise, but may also require the use of insulin and other medication. Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90% of diabetes cases.

Diabetes can cause a number of related complications including kidney failure, eye disease, foot problems, stroke, and anxiety. Those at risk for Type 2 diabetes include having a parent or sibling with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and being overweight.

Those with pre-diabetes have higher than normal blood glucose levels, and are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. If you have prediabetes there is no guarantee that it will develop into type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes can be managed through increasing physical activity, proper diet, and weight loss.

The Canadian Diabetes Association offers educational programs and support services, advocate for those affected by diabetes, funds research to improve treatment and in the search for a cure. For more information, you can visit the CDA’s website diabetes.ca or by calling 1-800-BANTING (226-8464).

Republished from The Quill print edition, Volume 107, Issue 21, February 7th, 2017.