Nov
14
2019

Free diabetes screening clinics for Islanders

This November Islanders can access free diabetes risk assessment clinics in various locations across the province without an appointment. 
 
Health PEI is holding the clinics in: Souris, Montague, Charlottetown, Cornwall, North Rustico, Summerside, Miscouche, Lennox Island, and O’Leary.  For clinic dates and time visit  COPD Screening and Diabetes Risk Assessment Clinics.

“Early diagnosis and treatment gives a person with diabetes a chance to change their lifestyle and put diabetes in check so they can live a long life without the complications which will occur if no changes were made  over the years,” said Gary Gaudet, Patient Advisor, Diabetes Steering Committee.

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and November 14 marks World Diabetes Day, making it a good time for Islanders to learn about prevention, education and early detection. 
 
“It is nice to see the risk assessment clinics during Diabetes Awareness Month, they emphasize the importance of early detection and diagnosis of diabetes to allow earlier management to help reduce the risk of complications,” said Dr. Lenley Adams, Department of Internal Medicine at QEH and Medical Director, Provincial Diabetes Program. “There may also be some people found to have diabetes who might not have otherwise accessed recommended screening.”
 
More than 15,000 Islanders live with diabetes, a chronic disease where the body is unable to produce insulin or properly use the insulin it produces. On average, 860 Islanders are diagnosed with diabetes each year.


”Early detection of diabetes is important for a better quality of life and I encourage all interested Islanders to take advantage of these  free clinics. Diabetes Month is a great chance for Islanders to learn more about this disease, the importance of early detection, prevention, and treatments and supports offered here in PEI.”

- Health and Wellness Minister James Aylward

Since 2014, more than 8,200 Islanders have accessed the various services offered by Health PEI’s Provincial Diabetes Program.
 
This year Diabetes Canada’s World Diabetes Day campaign is Let’s End Diabetes Together. People across the country are encouraged to wear blue and snap a photo for social media using #EndDiabetes. 
 
“With diabetes rates increasing rapidly and showing no signs of slowing down, there has never been a more urgent time to shine a spotlight on this epidemic,” said Terry Lewis of Diabetes Canada. “Through multi-stakeholder collaboration, education and advocacy to support a comprehensive approach such as the Diabetes 360° strategy we can help change the trajectory of the disease.”

For more information, visit: Provincial Diabetes Program.
 

Media contact:
Samantha Hughes
Senior Communications Officer
Health and Wellness
(902) 368-5610
shughes@gov.pe.ca

Backgrounder: 

About Diabetes
Diabetes mellitus is a chronic condition that results from the body’s inability to produce and/or use insulin sufficiently.  In the absence of insulin or sufficient amounts of insulin, blood glucose levels rise, which can result in immediate and long-term detrimental effects for the individual. 

Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults. Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes diagnosed with a higher prevalence in adults over 40 years of age. 

Many people don't experience symptoms of diabetes until later stages of the disease. It's important to recognize these signs and talk to your primary care provider: 

The most common signs of diabetes include: 

  • unusual thirst
  • frequent urination
  • weight change (gain or loss)
  • extreme fatigue or lack of energy
  • blurred vision
  • frequent or reoccurring infections
  • cuts and/or bruises that are slow to heal
  • tingling or numbness in hands or feet
  • trouble getting or maintaining an erection

About 1 in 10 Islanders 20 years of age and older are living with diabetes. 
 
Quick Facts

  • Diabetes is a common and serious disease
  • Many people do not know they have diabetes
  • Early screening for diabetes can help avoid serious complications such as blindness, kidney disease, heart disease, stroke, limb amputation and premature death.
  • Many people already have complications such as eye disease before being diagnosed.
  • Early diagnosis and treatment gives persons with diabetes the opportunity to make changes that could improve their lives for years to come.
  • Risk factors for diabetes include:
    • Being overweight is a major preventable risk factor for diabetes
    • Age 40 years and older
    • Inactive, sedentary lifestyle
    • A close relative with diabetes
    • Member of high risk ethnic group such as African, Asian or Indigenous
    • A history of diabetes related to pregnancy, or having a baby weighing greater than nine pounds
    • High blood pressure
  • Strategies for prevention of diabetes and improving overall health include:
    • Regular physical activity
    • Healthy eating habits
    • Healthy weight

General Inquiries

Department of Health and Wellness
4th Floor North, Shaw Building
105 Rochford Street
Charlottetown, PE   C1A 7N8

Phone: 902-368-6414
Fax: 902-368-4121

DeptHW@gov.pe.ca