Cases of Type 2 diabetes are on the rise, with numbers reaching epidemic proportions. Learn to take action and manage this disease.
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Speaker: Today there are over two million Canadians or 1 in 15 people living with type 2 diabetes. Patricia Clark is the National Executive Director of the Active Living Coalition for Older Adults, which encourages older Canadians to enhance their well-being in independence through daily physical activities. Patricia Clark: For those who are currently inactive, steps to improving their health can be as simple starting with a 5 minute walk around the block, and gradually increasing their time as they become more comfortable, because even a small drop in body weight can help improve the diabetes control. A recent national survey conducted by PSL Research Canada, reveals that Canadians living with type 2 diabetes were not taking proper steps to control their disease, mostly due to lack of knowledge about the disease. Dr Lawrence Leiter is Head of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto. Dr Lawrence Leiter: In order to know if your blood sugar is well controlled, we use a test called the hemoglobin A1c or A1c which is an index of the average blood sugar over the previous three months. The Canadian Diabetes Association is currently recommending that the A1c be at least under 7%, and in fact, as close to 6% as possible. It's important to get your A1c levels checked as recommended by your physician, to keep track of your results and to follow up as necessary. Dr Lawrence Leiter: The Canadian Diabetes Association recommends that everyone with diabetes follow an appropriate diet and as well get regular physical activity, and most people with diabetes will require medication to get their blood sugars down and to keep their blood sugars down, thereby reducing the risk of developing the potential complications of diabetes. Ram Krishna has been living with type 2 diabetes for nearly 25 years. Ram Krishna: In the early years, there was a certain lack of education and awareness, which has changed now, and the three main factors to manage diabetes are proper meal planning, regular activity, and taking medications on time. Over and above that, I think, one needs to have the right attitude and motivation, and the will power to say, 'I will manage the diabetes, rather than allowing the diabetes to manage me'. If you have type 2 diabetes, talk to your health care professional for more information on how to manage your disease, and be sure to report any changes such as unusual fatigue, weight gain and foot problems. Sherri Dymterko reporting.