February 20, 2019

Winnipeg
-9° C, Light snow

Full Forecast

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Opinion

It's much scarier than Halloween

Diabetes expected to worsen in next decade

Andrea Kwasnicki hopes hundreds of people head to Saturday's public forum on diabetes.

SUBMITTED PHOTO

Andrea Kwasnicki hopes hundreds of people head to Saturday's public forum on diabetes.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 21/10/2014 (1582 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Zombies. Vampires. Ghouls. Werewolves. Aliens. Creepy clowns. Googly-eyed monsters. Skeletons. Justin Bieber.

What with Halloween creeping toward us, there's a lot of scary stuff out there.

But for me, the really terrifying thing, the thing that strikes fear in my soul is the thousands of miniature chocolate bars that sit in a bowl by our door calling out my name while I'm trying to work.

If, like me, you have Type 2 diabetes, the fastest-growing chronic illness in the world, you probably have a sense of what I'm telling you.

Get the full story.
No credit card required. Cancel anytime.

Join free for 30 days

After that, pay as little as $0.99 per month for the best local news coverage in Manitoba.

 

Already a subscriber?

Log in

Join free for 30 days

 

Already a subscriber?

Log in

Subscribers Log in below to continue reading,
not a subscriber? Create an account to start a 30 day free trial.

Log in Create your account

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Mon to Sat Delivery

Pay

$34.36

per month

  • Includes all benefits of All Access Digital
  • 6-day delivery of our award-winning newspaper
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 21/10/2014 (1582 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Zombies. Vampires. Ghouls. Werewolves. Aliens. Creepy clowns. Googly-eyed monsters. Skeletons. Justin Bieber.

What with Halloween creeping toward us, there's a lot of scary stuff out there.

But for me, the really terrifying thing, the thing that strikes fear in my soul is the thousands of miniature chocolate bars that sit in a bowl by our door calling out my name while I'm trying to work.

If, like me, you have Type 2 diabetes, the fastest-growing chronic illness in the world, you probably have a sense of what I'm telling you.

The thing is, when someone gets a diagnosis of cancer, they don't need anyone to tell them to be afraid.

With a diagnosis of diabetes, however, more often than not the reaction is something along the lines of: "Huh?"

That's because too many Canadians are in the dark about the health and economic nightmare posed by this potentially lethal disease. It's like we're lying on a beach, slathering ourselves with sunscreen and reading a cheesy thriller while a killer tidal wave sweeps toward us.

Well, today, with a national diabetes conference kicking off in Winnipeg, we're going to do our best to kick the fear factor up a notch or two.

Let's start with this — about 6,000 Canadians die every month from diabetes or its complications. During a year, that's roughly the combined populations of Brandon, Thompson and Portage la Prairie. In 2008-09, one of 10 deaths in Canadian adults was attributable to diabetes.

"Absolutely, we should be more afraid," Andrea Kwasnicki, regional director of Manitoba/Nunavut for the Canadian Diabetes Association, agreed Tuesday over coffee in a bustling downtown café.

"Diabetes is a killer. It's heart disease, blindness, kidney dialysis — it's all those things. Do you want to live your life like that, on a machine getting dialysis because your kidneys failed?

"That should be scary."

Normally, I try to avoid battering readers over the head with statistics, but not today, because Andrea gave me the latest numbers on the raging "diabetes storm" and they are terrifying, to say the least.

In Manitoba, which already has the highest rate of diabetes on the Prairies, the number of confirmed cases is expected to soar 40 per cent during the next decade, to 156,000 (10.9 per cent of the population) by 2024 from 112,000 (8.6 per cent of the population) this year.

Type 2 diabetes — the most common form of the disease and the reason I inject myself with insulin four or five times each day — accounts for 90 per cent of those cases.

While the human cost is staggering, the economic toll threatens to pull the rug out from under our health-care system. If left unchecked, the amount the disease costs Manitoba is expected to jump to a shocking $678 million annually by 2024 from the current $562 million a year.

As an overweight, middle-aged columnist, I'm not thrilled to be part of the problem. Type 2 diabetes is a disease, not a character flaw, but the reality is most of the cases are linked to poor diet and lack of exercise.

It would be nice if a red light began blinking over your head when you got diabetes, but it doesn't. You can have it for years before symptoms — excessive thirst, frequent urination, blurred vision, numbness in hands or feet — show up.

An estimated one million Canadians have diabetes and don't know it because they haven't been tested.

On Nov. 1, I'll be the guest speaker at the diabetes association's fundraising gala, which is sold out, so you won't be able to hear my alarming message, unless you already have a ticket, in which case you can't avoid it.

What you can do is head down to the convention centre Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the a diabetes public forum, which caps the national conference. For $30 (register at diabetes.ca/publicforum or at 204-925-3800 ext 3) you can attend workshops, check out a trade show, grill diabetes experts and enjoy a swell lunch.

"We've got a panel of experts to cap off the day — nurses, dietitians, doctors and a foot expert," Kwasnicki said. "It's a small investment for the rest of your life.

"You can choose to ignore diabetes or you can do something about it. Now is the time to do something before the complications set in, before you lose your eyesight, before you lose a limb."

You can also visit www.diabetes.ca and take the CANRISK test to assess your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Most of all, what I'd like you to do is: "PUT DOWN THOSE (BAD WORD) LITTLE CANDY BARS AND GO GET YOUR BLOOD TESTED!"

I apologize for all the capital letters. I didn't mean to startle anyone. No, wait...

doug.speirs@freepress.mb.ca

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective January 2015.

Advertisement

Advertise With Us