View the Flipbook

Download the Report

Diabetes Basics

Diabetes is a chronic condition where the body has trouble regulating the amount of glucose (or sugar) in the blood or can’t produce or use insulin properly.1,2 

Glucose is the main source of energy for the body’s cells and is a sugar that the body creates by breaking down carbohydrates in food and drink. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas and is like a key that unlocks cells so that glucose can leave the bloodstream and enter the cells for use as energy.3, 4, 5 

Without insulin, glucose stays in the blood instead of entering the cells, and if it accumulates, glucose levels rise and people can become very ill. If there is not enough insulin, the glucose can’t get into the cell, which is like having fuel that can’t get into the engine. Too much glucose can damage organs, blood vessels and nerves.6

A. Types of Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition where the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells in the pancreas that make insulin.7 Approximately 10% of Canadians with diabetes have type 1.8

Type 2 diabetes Type 2 diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not make enough insulin or when the body can’t use the insulin it makes (insulin resistance), both of which can prevent the glucose in the blood from entering cells to be used for energy.9 Approximately 90% of Canadians with diabetes have type 2.10

Gestational diabetes occurs when hormone changes in pregnancy result in the pancreas not making enough insulin.11 One in 10 women who gives birth experiences diabetes while pregnant.12

Gestational diabetes occurs when hormone changes in pregnancy result in the pancreas not making enough insulin.11 One in 10 women who gives birth experiences diabetes while pregnant.12

B. Diabetes in Canada

One in three Canadians lives with pre- diabetes or diabetes, and there has been a greater than 50% increase in diabetes prevalence over the past 10 years.15 These numbers are expected to continue to rise due to the aging population and Canadians with diabetes who are living longer.

Analysis indicates that a 20-year-old Canadian has a 50% chance of developing diabetes.16, 17  

C. Diabetes-Related Complications

People with well-managed diabetes achieve stable blood glucose levels and manage their risk of chronic complications. Managing diabetes may be costly; however, diabetes that is not well managed can be even more expensive because it can lead to complications that require more healthcare and additional spending.18 

Poorly managed diabetes is the root cause of short- and long-term health complications, such as 30% of strokes, 40% of heart attacks, 50% of kidney failure requiring dialysis, and 70% of all nontraumatic leg and foot amputations.19

Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in Canadian adults. Cardiovascular disease occurs two to four times more often than in people without diabetes. Diabetes is the leading cause of end-stage kidney disease and nontraumatic amputation in Canadian adults.20

People living with diabetes are over three times more likely to be hospitalized with cardiovascular disease, 12 times more likely to be hospitalized with end-stage kidney disease and almost 20 times more likely to be hospitalized for a nontraumatic lower limb amputation.21 

Unfortunately, poorly managed diabetes can sometimes be fatal. Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death for individuals with diabetes.22  Diabetes can reduce life expectancy by 13 years,23  and death rates of Canadians with diabetes are at least double those of Canadians without. It is estimated that 1 in 10 deaths in Canadian adults is attributable to diabetes.24  

Sponsored by:

sponsors

sponsors


1 https://www.diabetes.ca/about-diabetes/what-is-diabetes
https://www.diabetes.ca/DiabetesCanadaWebsite/media/Advocacy-and-Policy/Diabetes-360-Recommendations.pdf
https://www.goodrx.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Diabetes-Cost-White-Paper.pdf
https://www.healthyplace.com/diabetes/mental-health/what-is-uncontrolled-diabetes
https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/insulin-resistance.html
https://www.diabetes.ca/DiabetesCanadaWebsite/media/Advocacy-and-Policy/Diabetes-360-Recommendations.pdf
https://www.diabetes.ca/en-CA/about-diabetes/causes-of-diabetes
https://health-infobase.canada.ca/datalab/diabetes-blog.html
https://www.diabetes.ca/en-CA/about-diabetes/causes-of-diabetes
10 https://health-infobase.canada.ca/datalab/diabetes-blog.html
11 https://www.diabetes.ca/en-CA/about-diabetes/causes-of-diabetes
12 https://www.diabetes.ca/DiabetesCanadaWebsite/media/Advocacy-and-Policy/Backgrounder/2020_Backgrounder_Canada_English_FINAL.pdf
13 https://www.diabetes.ca/DiabetesCanadaWebsite/media/Managing-My-Diabetes/Tools%20and%20Resources/prediabetes-fact-sheet.pdf?ext=.pdf
14 https://www.diabetes.ca/DiabetesCanadaWebsite/media/Advocacy-and-Policy/Backgrounder/2020_Backgrounder_Canada_English_FINAL.pdf
15 https://www.diabetes.ca/DiabetesCanadaWebsite/media/Advocacy-and-Policy/Diabetes-360-Recommendations.pdf
16 https://health-infobase.canada.ca/datalab/diabetes-blog.html
17 https://www.diabetes.ca/DiabetesCanadaWebsite/media/Advocacy-and-Policy/Diabetes-360-Recommendations.pdf
18 https://www.goodrx.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Diabetes-Cost-White-Paper.pdf
19 https://www.diabetes.ca/DiabetesCanadaWebsite/media/Advocacy-and-Policy/Backgrounder/2020_Backgrounder_Canada_English_FINAL.pdf
20 https://www.diabetes.ca/health-care-providers/clinical-practice-guidelines/chapter-1#panel-tab_FullText
21 https://www.diabetes.ca/DiabetesCanadaWebsite/media/Advocacy-and-Policy/Backgrounder/2020_Backgrounder_Canada_English_FINAL.pdf
22 https://www.diabetes.ca/health-care-providers/clinical-practice-guidelines/chapter-1#panel-tab_FullText
23 https://www.diabetes.ca/DiabetesCanadaWebsite/media/Advocacy-and-Policy/Diabetes-360-Recommendations.pdf
24 https://www.diabetes.ca/health-care-providers/clinical-practice-guidelines/chapter-1#panel-tab_FullText