THIS MOTHER'S DAY MOVE HEALTH UP ON YOUR AGENDA

Canadian Diabetes Association provides resources to help
keep mothers and their families healthy

TORONTO, May 2 /CNW/ - As we celebrate Mother's Day this May, the Canadian Diabetes Association wants to ensure that all mothers who have had gestational diabetes are getting screened for type 2 diabetes regularly, and that everyone recognizes and acts quickly on the warning signs of diabetes in children.

Just like Mother's Day, gestational diabetes can pass; however, it should not be forgotten.  The Canadian Diabetes Association has developed resources to ensure mothers are getting tested for type 2 diabetes if they have had gestational diabetes.  The Association has also developed resources to ensure parents and other caregivers recognize the warning signs that diabetes is developing in a child, so they can prevent it from progressing to a devastating situation.  These resources are based on the Association's internationally-recognized 2008 Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Management of Diabetes in Canada and are available online at diabetes.ca/protectingmothers and diabetes.ca/protectingchildren.

Every year, between 3 to 20 per cent (depending on risk factors) of pregnant women across Canada develop gestational diabetes (GDM), a temporary form of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy.*  Although blood glucose levels usually return to normal following delivery, these women are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.  In fact, 20 per cent of women who have had gestational diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within 9 years of the pregnancy, and 30 per cent will develop diabetes within 15 years.**  However, less than half of women who have had gestational diabetes are screened for diabetes after delivery.

"Undiagnosed type 2 diabetes can lead to serious consequences, including an increased chance of miscarriage, stillbirth or having a baby with a malformation in a future pregnancy.  It also increases the long-term risk of heart attack and stroke, and damage to the eyes, kidneys and nerves," says Jennifer Snyder, Chair, Protecting Mothers Committee, Canadian Diabetes Association.  "Having gestational diabetes is a warning that a woman is at future risk of developing diabetes.  It is an alert to women and their healthcare providers that these women need to arrange regular diabetes screenings so that if diabetes is present, it will be quickly diagnosed and complications avoided."

Women who have had gestational diabetes need to be tested for type 2 diabetes: 6 weeks to 6 months after giving birth; when planning another pregnancy; and every 3 years (or more often depending on other risk factors for diabetes).

Every year, more children across Canada are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Diabetes affects children of all ages and most of them do not have a family history of diabetes.  Delay in making the diagnosis of diabetes can be serious for a child.  In fact, every year Canadian children die or are left with permanent brain damage because failure to recognize and diagnose diabetes led to a life-threatening condition called diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).  Fortunately, DKA is preventable.

"Diabetic ketoacidosis is the leading cause of death and permanent disability in children and youth with new onset diabetes," says Dr. Margaret Lawson, Chair, Protecting Children Committee, Canadian Diabetes Association.  "DKA is always preceded by symptoms of hyperglycemia.  DKA can be prevented if the warning signs are recognized and timely action is taken."

Early symptoms of diabetes in a child include: excessive thirst; frequent urination; bedwetting (new or increased); and weight loss.  If you think a child or teenager might have diabetes, make sure he or she sees a healthcare provider immediately.  Your actions could save a life!

Visit diabetes.ca/protectingmothers and diabetes.ca/protectingchildren to view the Protecting Mothers and Protecting Children resources along with other healthy guidelines.  Visit getcheckednow.ca to learn more about getting checked for type 2 diabetes.

About the Canadian Diabetes Association
Across the country, the Canadian Diabetes Association is leading the fight against diabetes by helping people with diabetes live healthy lives while we work to find a cure.  Our community-based network of supporters help us provide education and services to people living with diabetes, advocate for our cause, break ground towards a cure and translate research into practical applications.  For more information, please visit diabetes.ca or call 1-800-BANTING (226-8464).

*Canadian Diabetes Association's 2008 Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Management of Diabetes in Canada; September 2008; S171.

**Feig, Zinman et al CMAJ 2008; 179:229-234 and Egeland, Meltzer; Diabetic Med 2010; 27:257-265

SOURCE Canadian Diabetes Association

For further information:

For additional information or to schedule an interview, please contact: 

Randi Garcha
Manager, National Media Relations & External Communications
Canadian Diabetes Association
Tel : (416) 408-7071
Cell : (647) 292-9641
randi.garcha@diabetes.ca

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Canadian Diabetes Association

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