Tag: diabetes

Healthy Swellness: 3 surprising heart facts you need to know if you have type 2 diabetes

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It was only in the last decade or so when I learned about the serious complications that can result from type 2 diabetes.

I had thought diabetes was something most people could manage and control with medication and by improving lifestyle habits, yet research studies have shown that 1 in 2 people who have type 2 diabetes will die from heart disease.

When coupled with the dramatic increase in the number of people being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes every year, especially among the Chinese Canadian population where the incidence of diabetes jumped 15-fold between 1996 and 2005, those numbers are devastating.

While I don’t personally have a family history of diabetes, we do have a family history of heart disease, and so I know it’s smart to focus on healthy lifestyle habits that reduce my risk factors for both – including keeping active and trying to manage my stress levels (which, for me, means getting out in nature to hike or run with my dog).

Chinese Canadians are at a much higher risk of a diabetes diagnosis than Canadians of European descent, due to a combination of genetics and lifestyle changes. When I think of the people I know who have type 2 diabetes, and that half of them may not live to see their kids grow up, or go on that dream vacation they’ve got on their bucket list, or even simply enjoy everyday things for many years to come, like going for a walk with their dog, it’s heartbreaking. Which is why I think it’s important that we raise awareness around the connection between diabetes and heart disease. It could save lives.

Three things you need to know about type 2 diabetes and heart health:

 

  1. Diabetes significantly increases your risk of dying of heart attack, stroke and heart failure. Although most people with diabetes feel they are knowledgeable about how to manage their diabetes, more than half are unaware of the impact their diabetes has on their risk of heart disease.
  2. Simply controlling your blood sugar levels may not be enough if you have a history of heart disease While it is a critical part of managing your diabetes, there are medications that, along with following a healthy diet and exercise, have been shown to lower your risk of dying from problems related to your heart and blood vessels.
  3. People with type 2 diabetes develop heart disease at an earlier age than those without diabetes. How much earlier? 10 to 15 years earlier than those who do not have type 2 diabetes.

 

 

All of which is to say that there is no better time than now to take managing your type 2 diabetes and heart health to the next level if you aren’t already, or to encourage the loved ones in your life to do so themselves.

You can learn more at myheartmatters.ca, where you’ll also find a useful risk assessment tool to help determine what your personal risk is when it comes to type 2 diabetes-related heart disease. The more you know now, the more you can do to improve your health and reduce those odds of heart disease.

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Leave a Comment November 22, 2018

Fitness Swellness: Saddle up and join in the JDRF Revolution Ride to Defeat Diabetes

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Charities are getting more and more creative with ways to raise money for their causes other than the usual run or walk, and I think that’s fantastic. As much as I love running, I know it’s not for everyone! I’m excited to take part next week, along with more than 12,000 people across Canada, in the JDRF Revolution Ride to Defeat Diabetes 2017!

It’s my first year, but I hear the high-energy event is full of positive vibes. Presented by Sun Life Financial, the JDRF Revolution Ride’s goal is to raise funds so that we can one day live in a world where no one needs to suffer from type 1 diabetes (T1D).

If you’re not familiar with T1D, you should know it can be a devastating autoimmune disease. When you have T1D, your body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells in the pancreas that make insulin (which your body needs in order to get energy from food). It affects more than 300,000 Canadians, from kids to adults, and diabetes is the leading cause of amputations, blindness, kidney and heart disease and other health conditions. And it’s not due to eating too much sugar, or linked to being overweight or not exercising enough—its cause is unknown. And while people with diabetes must test their blood sugar every day and give themselves insulin injections several times a day (or use an insulin pump) for the rest of their lives, insulin is not a cure, and it does not prevent those severe complications mentioned above.

By taking part in the JDRF Revolution Ride, your fundraising helps contribute toward the incredible advances made in T1D research. It’s thanks to the support of people like you that smart insulin (which responds to your body’s needs) was developed and that artificial pancreas systems are being developed so as to leverage technology to improve T1D management, to name just two examples.

How you can join in the JFRF Revolution Ride:
I’ll be taking part in a one-hour morning spin class that kicks off the JDRF Revolution Ride event in Toronto. And there’s still time for you to take part in the Ride event, too: you can compete either individually or in teams on stationary bikes (in the Ride10, for example, all you do is saddle up and ride seven minutes as a member of a five-person team—seven minutes well spent!), or even bike outdoors on your own when you can find the time to in your schedule. If you can’t take part with an actual ride, every dollar helps the cause, so consider donating to a friend who is fundraising for the Revolution Ride.

So see you there, right? I’ll be the runner-and-infrequent-Spin-class girl sweating through the session. But every pedal we all push in this Ride means we get closer to defeating diabetes.

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Leave a Comment September 29, 2017

Fitness Swellness: Walking equal to running

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Great news for those of you who prefer walking to running: Walking moderately intensely gives you comparable health benefits as running vigorously says a six-year study when it comes to reducing your risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

(And while I know there are surely better walking shoes out there, ones designed for walking specifically, than these Nike Dunks, these are the sneaks I’m coveting and what I’d wear to walk to meetings and events. Cute, right?)

2 Comments April 8, 2013

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