Diabetes Prevention

About Diabetes

Diabetes affects the body’s ability to use the energy we get from food. The body changes food into glucose (a type of sugar) that is found in the blood after eating a meal. Insulin is a hormone made by the body that helps glucose move out of the blood and into cells so that it can be used as energy. Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not make enough insulin or cannot use the insulin it makes.

If not treated, diabetes can lead to serious health problems such as blindness, loss of limbs, and heart and kidney disease.

Types of diabetes

  • There are three types of diabetes: type 1type 2 and gestational diabetes.
  • The good news is that type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed. Type 1 diabetes and gestational diabetes cannot be prevented.

About Type 2 Diabetes

Did you know:

  • About 90 per cent of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes.
  • It usually occurs in adults over the age of 40, but rates are rising in younger people too.
  • In type 2 diabetes the body does not make enough insulin to move the glucose from the blood into the cells or does not properly use the insulin it makes.
  • Glucose builds up in the blood instead of being used for energy. This can lead to serious health problems.

Signs and Symptoms

There are some signs and symptoms to be aware of:

  • being thirsty often
  • having to pee often
  • weight change (gain or loss)
  • feeling tired or having no energy
  • blurred vision
  • cuts and bruises that are slow to heal
  • tingling or numbness in hands or feet


If you have any of these symptoms, it is important you contact your healthcare provider.

In some cases, a person can have diabetes without any signs or symptoms. If you are 40 years of age or older, you are at risk for type 2 diabetes and should be tested regularly.

Risk Factors

You are at risk for type 2 diabetes if you:

  • are 40 years of age or older
  • have someone in your family with type 2 diabetes e.g. parent, brother, sister or grandparent
  • are overweight (especially around your middle)
  • are a member of a high-risk group
    • Aboriginal (e.g. First Nations, Inuit, Métis)
    • Black (e.g. African, Caribbean)
    • East Asian (e.g. China, Vietnam, Philippines, Korea)
    • South Asian (e.g. Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka)
    • Latin American
  • have a history of gestational diabetes or pre-diabetes
  • have heart disease, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol
  • have health complications related to diabetes such as eye, nerve or kidney problems


If you have any of the risk factors contact your health care provider to discuss your risk of developing diabetes.

Find out if you are at risk of having type 2 diabetes and learn ways to decrease your risk by taking the Canadian Diabetes Risk Questionnaire now.

Take the risk assessment. It's worth it!

Assess Your Risk