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'Silent epidemic': Campaign raising awareness on diabetes management

November is Diabetes Awareness Month, and it’s a time for Canadians to learn more about the disease that impacts millions of people in our country and more than 421,000 Manitobans.

According to Diabetes Canada, one in three Canadians are impacted by diabetes or prediabetes, with rates for the health condition expected to increase by 26 per cent in the next 10 years.

The organization notes that more than four million Canadians have been diagnosed with diabetes, while more than one million likely live with the disease without knowing it.

Andrea Kwasnicki, director of community fundraising and events with Diabetes Canada, said it’s important to educate people about the disease and the difficulties of management.

“It’s almost a silent epidemic,” she said in an interview with CTV Morning Live on Tuesday.

“People need to take control. Adapt your lifestyle to a healthy lifestyle, to healthy food choices, exercise, and ensure you are conscious and you are educating not only yourself, but you’re educating those around you."

To raise awareness about the disease, Diabetes Canada has launched the Let’s Make Time campaign.

This initiative is aimed at educating people on the complexity and prevalence of the disease, as well as on the effort and time required to self-manage diabetes, which includes testing blood sugar, calculating insulin doses, and filling syringes.

“It’s a 24-hour-a-day disease. It doesn’t go away. It needs to be monitored continuously, time and time again,” Kwasnicki said.

“You need to check your blood sugars, you need to exercise, you a need proper diet. So it’s continuous.”

For a parent whose child has diabetes, Kwasnicki said it’s “unsettling” to have to ensure a child is in the range they need to be for their blood sugar. However, she added, technology has been making things easier.

“Technology has really made it viable for not only the children, but for parents to monitor their children outside not being in contact with them,” she said.

“The beauty of technology has definitely advanced the management of diabetes.”

More information about the Let’s Make Time Campaign can be found online.

- With files from CTV’s Ainsley McPhail. Top Stories

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