November is Diabetes Awareness Month

November is Diabetes Awareness Month. 1 in 3 people in Canada are affected by diabetes and chances are, you or someone you know is impacted by this condition. In Nunavut, the number of people with diabetes is slowly rising. This means it is important to raise awareness and support those around you. 

Diabetes is a condition when a person cannot control the level of sugar in their blood. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. What you eat, how much you move your body, and if diabetes runs in your family are some things that can put you more at risk of developing this condition. 

Here are some ways that you can take control of your health and prevent diabetes health problems: 

1. If you are over 40, get blood work done every year to check blood sugar.
The A1C blood test measures the average levels of sugar in your blood. The doctor or nurse will also check your blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels.

2. Watch for symptoms of diabetes like:
•    Thirsty
•    Going to the bathroom a lot
•    Gaining weight
•    Just not feeling like yourself 

You may have all of these symptoms or nothing at all. Either way, see your doctor.

November is Diabetes Month

3. Take small steps towards healthier body.
There are many healthy habits that you can do to help prevent diabetes such as:
Plan Healthy Meals
It’s recommended to eat 3 meals a day, which can help you to avoid drops in your blood sugar levels. Eating more vegetables (fresh, canned or frozen) and eating high fibre foods like whole wheat bread can help to lower your risk of developing diabetes. The key is to eat a variety of different healthy foods from all food groups. 

Move Your Body
You can do this by adding extra activity to your daily routine or setting some time aside to do some exercise. Some simple ways you can move your body include walking 20 minutes every day or doing an online exercise video on days when it is too cold. Doing chores like cleaning the house also count. 

Getting Enough Sleep
Sleep is very important for your body and mind to recharge. Adults need at least 7 hours of nightly sleep which helps the body to stay healthy. Try a simple sleep routine for yourself which could include going to bed at the same time every night, quietly reading or stretching before bed or cutting down on evening screen time by 9 PM. One of the best things that you can do the same routine every night to let your body know, it is time for rest. 

Don’t Smoke
People who smoke are much more likely to get type 2 diabetes than people who don’t smoke. If you would like to quit, try reaching out to a doctor or nurse for help on how to quit.

4. Take Small Steps Towards a Healthier Mind
It can be very hard to stay healthy when you are feeling down, stressed, or overwhelmed. Some things you can try are getting on the land, deep breathing, taking a walk, dancing, meeting up with friends to sew, doing yoga, listening to your favourite music, or having a warm bath or shower.

Small changes can make a huge difference! What small changes can you make this month?


National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. (2023) National Diabetes Month 2023.

Diabetes Canada. (2023). Diabetes Awareness Month 2023 Campaign Toolkit.