The month of November is acknowledged as Diabetes month. Every November the world unites in support of a campaign led by the International Diabetes Federation to mark the birthday of the co-discovery of insulin – Sir Frederick Banting. This year is significant, because 2011 is the 90th anniversary of the discovery of insulin. The number of Canadians with diabetes is estimated to be 2.7 million people (7.6% of the population) in 2010, and is projected to rise to 4.2 million (10.8% of the population) by 2020. It is also believed that close to one million Canadians have undiagnosed diabetes.

The numbers are rising significantly due to:

  • an aging population

  • increasing rates of obesity

  • sedentary Canadian lifestyle

  • over 80% of new Canadian immigrants coming from populations of higher risk of Type 2 diabetes.

Managing diabetes and its complications is one of the largest consumers of our healthcare dollars. Every citizen and healthcare professional has a social responsibility to do something to help mitigate the burden of this chronic disease. People who do not have diabetes need to be mindful of their diets, body weight and activity levels to minimize the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Those already with diabetes have to work together with their healthcare team to try to control their disease and prevent complications. (If you have diabetes, your Smith Drugs & Apothecary pharmacist would be please to book an appointment for a personal Diabetes MedCheck at your convenience.) Researchers are working diligently to find better treatments and ultimately a cure.

Support your local diabetes association during the month of November!