More than one million Canadians
have diabetes and don’t know it.
That’s because, for many, diabetes
gives no clues or symptoms.
If you’re 40 or over, the best way to
detect diabetes is to discuss your
health and possible risk factors with
your healthcare provider. Together,
you may also consider getting
screened for diabetes even if you
display none of the signs of the
disease. These include:
• Unusual thirst
• Frequent urination
• Weight change (gain or loss)
• Extreme fatigue or lack of energy
• Blurred vision
• Frequent or recurring infections
• Cuts and bruises that are
slow to heal
• Tingling or numbness in the
hands or feet
• Trouble getting or maintaining
If you do have any of these
symptoms, contact your
Diabetes in children
Type 1 diabetes usually develops in
childhood between the ages of 10 and
14. Why children get it is unknown:
most children living with diabetes
have no family history of the disease.
In 2015, about 3,800 children in
Alberta had Type 1 diabetes.
Knowing the symptoms, particularly
if your child is drinking, urinating and
sleeping more than usual, can help
with an early diagnosis.
“Most kids will experience a few
days to a week of changes in the
way they pee,” says Dr. Neil Cooper,
a Calgary pediatrician. “They may
have accidents, get up at night to pee,
and have to pee a lot at school. By
the end of the week, parents notice
something is wrong, and take them
to the doctor.” The key is to have
your child tested right away.
When a child is diagnosed with
diabetes, a healthcare team works
with their whole family to manage the
disease. And children are encouraged
to take part in their diabetes care
right from the start. Even young
children can choose which finger to
test, and read numbers on the meter.
When diabetes is well managed,
children can have good health their
Clues your body gives about diabetes
More than one million Canadians have diabetes
and don’t know it.
WRITTEN BY COLLEEN SETO