Health Matters is published by
Calgary and area Primary Care
Networks (PCNs) to give you
information about the programs,
services and health teams available
to you through your family doctor.
PCNs in the Calgary area were
established about 10 years ago
to provide people with health
services and programs through
their family physicians.
Today, PCNs work with teams of
other health professional as well as
offer programs such as Prescription
to Get Active and Find-a-Doctor.
The publication team behind
this issue of Health Matters is:
Keith Bradford, Terry Bullick,
Bart Goemans, Lynda Harrison,
Jessica Hone, Cory Leyte, Melissa
Ligertwood, Dr. Christine Luelo,
Janine Poersch, Colleen Seto,
Trudie Lee Harder, Melissa
Ligertwood, Jimi Scherer,
Colleen Seto, Neil Zeller
Cover photo of Darcy Graham and
Charles Voll by Trudie Lee Harder
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Diabetes is common in Canada,
yet few of us know much about
it. This chronic disease robs the
body of its ability to control
blood sugar (glucose) levels,
either because it cannot produce
insulin or cannot properly use
the insulin it produces. Without
insulin, sugar builds up in the
blood instead of being used as
energy. Over time, this damages
organs, blood vessels and nerves.
A report by Diabetes Canada
in 2015 found the number of
people with diabetes more than
doubled between 2000 and
2015 to an estimated 8. 9 per
cent ( 3. 34 million) of Canadians,
leading to $3 billion in direct
healthcare costs. Some one
Dr. Jane Ballantine, the medical director of the
Calgary West Central Primary Care Network,
takes a special interest in helping diabetes
patients manage the disease.
million Canadians have diabetes
and don’t know it.
Even more people are at risk
of developing diabetes. In the
next 10 years, both the rate and
healthcare costs of diabetes are
projected to grow by more than
40 per cent.
Anyone can get diabetes, but not
everyone will and for many people,
diabetes can be prevented.
Types of diabetes
With Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas
loses its ability to make insulin and
this is life-threatening. “Essentially,
the pancreas doesn’t work so Type
1 must be treated with insulin,” says