Diabetes is a growing epidemic in Canada.
Between 1995 and 1999, Ontario saw a dramatic increase in diabetics living with diabetes. There are three types of diabetes; however, type 2 diabetes affects most people, accounting for 90% of all cases. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or cannot efficiently use the insulin produced.
Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include being overweight, having a diabetic in the family, and being over the age of 40. However, type 2 diabetes is now being seen in pre-teenage children due in part to the increasing obesity epidemic and sedentary lifestyle habits of this population.
The longer a person has diabetes, the more likely this person is to have complications. Common health complications include amputations, blindness, heart disease, kidney problems, nerve damage and erectile dysfunction.
That is why the trend towards younger patients developing diabetes is so alarming; they are at an increased risk of developing serious complications and decreasing their life expectancy and quality of life.
The good news is that the onset of type 2 diabetes and its related complications can be prevented and/or delayed.
Lifestyle and the onset of type 2 diabetes are very closely linked. Maintaining a healthy body weight by eating a balanced diet, participating in physical activity, reducing stress, and refraining from alcohol and tobacco products can greatly reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

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