Kemptville, Ontario (PR) February 02, 2012
With an emphasis on prevention, Kemptville District Hospital (KDH) has committed staff and resources to help tackle the global epidemic of diabetes: teams at both KDH and its satellite Rideau Valley Health Services (RVHS) in Barrhaven are offering a variety of programs to provide education and support to people living with diabetes and pre-diabetes.
Today, more than 9 million Canadians live with diabetes or pre-diabetes. By 2020 almost 10 percent of Canadians will have diabetes and the disease will cost our healthcare system a staggering $ 16.9 billion per year.
Approximately 10 percent of people with diabetes have type 1 diabetes, a non-preventable disease of unknown cause; the remaining 90 percent have Type 2 diabetes, a disease that can often be prevented or delayed through increased physical activity, healthy eating and weight loss. The number of Canadians with type 2 diabetes is increasing dramatically due to a number of factors, including our aging population, rising obesity rates, and increasingly sedentary lifestyles.
As many as 1 million Canadians are living with undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes. If left untreated or improperly managed, diabetes can result in a variety of complications including heart disease, kidney disease, eye disease, impotence, and nerve damage.
Kemptville District Hospital Diabetes Clinic
KDH provides diabetes services in the Kemptville area through a Diabetes Clinic run by a multidisciplinary team, which includes Heather Kamenz, a registered nurse, Julia Hicks, a registered dietitian, the hospitals pharmacist, Mary Whyte, and chiropodist Melanie Atkinson. The goal of the clinic is to provide individuals with the tools they need to manage and treat their diabetes.
The KDH Diabetes clinic offers several programs for adults diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes. The programs provide in-depth education on diabetes management and treatment, as well as group sessions and/or individual counseling with the nurse and dietitian.
The team recently held an offsite diabetes education session at a local retirement home for people unable to conveniently get to the hospital to take part in a program; the team is now looking into options for taking the program to other area nursing homes. Dietitian Julia Hicks also leads group excursions to a local grocery store, to provide education about how to interpret food labels and make healthier choices for managing diabetes.
Kamenz explains that there are many signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes, including unusual thirst, frequent urination, weight change (gain or loss), extreme fatigue, blurred vision, cuts and bruises that are slow to heal, and tingling or numbness in the hands or feet. People experiencing any of these symptoms should contact their healthcare provider right away. However, as Hicks points out, some people with type 2 diabetes are asymptomatic. This is why its important to be tested. The Canadian Diabetes Association recommends screening for diabetes for everyone once they reach age 40 and every three years after that.