It’s not a cliche from a bygone Clint Eastwood movie and it’s not Kenny Rogers opus to the riverboat life though it might as well be for that 50% of Canadians over the age of 45 missing in action as active participants in their own health care. Case in point, the current laissez faire regarding the epidemic of diabetes inundating the collective provincial health care ministries Coast to Coast. Fact: 30% of Canadians are diabetic or prediabetic. Fact: 10% of ALL adult deaths in Canada contain a diabetes contributing factor with heart disease and stroke topping the list. 30 percent of strokes and 40 percent of heart attacks have a direct cause and effect linkage with abnormal blood sugar. More than half the country’s dialysis patients have concurrent diabetes. It’s a major contributor to nerve damage leading to diminished awareness of injury especially to lower limbs with subsequent ulceration, infection risk and long term probability of amputation. Eye diseases from blurring to progressive and complete blindness are real outcomes. None of these are book numbers. These are the 2018 real ghosts from Scrooges’ past. Every one a Canadian no longer with us. But these are the mortality stats. There is also an accounting for the astronomically higher infection rates, lost time from family, work and regular activities. Then there are the intangibles, the daily fatigue, the lethargy, loss of focus even depression and altered sexuality.
And why? Are we all that busy we can’t allow 3 minutes for a clue-in self administered quiz? Do we equate the absence of pain with a diagnosis of wellness?
Or…is it something more basic? We like to gamble even when the stakes are life itself.
Then let me put this in a vernacular in your best interest. How about we even up the odds? Get on line to CANRISK type 2 diabetes risk assessment. It’s about 3 minutes of self administered questions with a straight yes or no status outcome. Even if the outcome indicates membership in the risk group, there is no need to despair. First pass management is entirely holistic.
- Get your weight back to target age and height related base level
- Initiate a realistic daily exercise program of at least 20 minutes duration
- Invest in a home glucometer test kit for self monitoring Of course, I know these truths from my medical training but more personally I took the test, believed the results and took them to heart. 55 lbs lighter and 30 minutes of walking daily, the results are real. If I can do it, so can you.
Dr. David Carll