Canada’s “Let’s End Diabetes” virtual conference
Photo credit: Christina Morillo
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the world-changing Canadian discovery of insulin. This discovery has saved millions, if not billions of lives. It is safe to say that in some way the use of insulin has extended or saved a life in this generation (or one in the past) that had a direct influence on every person alive today.
This is why Diabetes Canada is producing with the first-ever virtual “Let’s End Diabetes” Type 2, Diabetes Conference. It is scheduled and expected to be a major event. But, before we dive into the conference, let’s review the history of how Canada became the world authority and industry leader in the fight against diabetes.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic illness. Here is a very brief (but not detailed) definition of the disease. When a person has type 1 diabetes, their body is unable to make insulin. When a person has type 2 diabetes, their body does not produce enough insulin and it no longer knows how to make good use of the insulin it produces.
Our bodies naturally produce the hormone, “insulin”. This hormone regulates the glucose (sugar) from the foods we eat, through the bloodstream, to produce energy. The glucose is broken down in the blood, and the insulin helps the glucose get it into our cells. When we cannot produce the insulin, or we cannot produce it effectively, it causes the glucose levels to stay too high in the blood. This damages the body, internal organs, tissues, and nerves.
Everything you eat, every time you do not eat on schedule, every exercise you do, and every time you sleep or neglect sleep. You affect your blood sugar. You must follow strict instructions to control your blood glucose. You must monitor your blood with a blood glucose meter several times per day. You need a quality blood glucose meter. You can purchase a good meter at a reasonable price.
Special note: Diabetic must-have kit
Unlike the rest of us, a diabetic cannot just get up and go. They must have a “go to” kit everywhere they are. When it comes to the only tool you have to check the condition of your blood, do you want to trust a generic brand? You can buy Contour-Next kit and have everything you need in one place. They are made by Ascensia DIabetic Care who has dedicated more than 70 years to improving the quality of life for diabetics. The kit has the meter, Ascensia strips and lancets in a portable bag that will go anywhere. Most keep a kit in their office, car, and near their bed.
Photo: Nataliya Vaitkevich
Diabetes is not a new disease. But, before insulin was invented, there was nothing that a doctor could do. In ancient days, the treatments tried to prolong life but they were torture. It included bleeding, starvation, feeding of dirt, grain, and lead. A child who had diabetes survived month to month with various “treatments” and literally died slowly. A child seldom survived one year, an adult rarely lived longer than two.
Sir Frederick Banting, MD
Insulin was invented by Sir Frederick Banting, MD in 1910. This was one of the most significant medical discoveries of the 20th century. In fact, it was such an important discovery that it earned Dr. Banting admission into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.
Dr. Banting received his education at the University of Toronto where he was allowed the use of a laboratory to work on his hypothesis. Using dogs, he was able to isolate the hormone which is now known as insulin.
Many years of hard work, dedication, and commitment from a lot of people. Knowing the need for the drug, he was determined to allow the world to benefit from his work. Sir Frederick Banting, MD sold his patent rights for insulin to the University of Toronto for the sum of $1.00. He explained that insulin belonged to the world. This was the beginning of many famous and worthy accomplishments that Dr. Banting and his partners received. To read more about this national hero, click here.
“Let’s End Diabetes” Virtual Conference
The one-day event for people who live with or care for someone with Type-2 Diabetes will be on May 1, 2021. This event will be interactive and will include people who have the disease and their network and support system.
You will learn about all the latest information, products and services that are now available, including recent breakthroughs in diabetes research. Here are some things you can expect:
- More than 20 expert guest speakers
- An expert panel available to answer your questions
- High-risk lounge
- Live exhibitor trade-show
- Regional community showcase
- Virtual games
Some of the topics covered will include:
- Mental health
- Continuous glucose monitoring
- Flash glucose monitoring
- Insurance coverage
The seriousness of diabetes cannot be understated. In 2019 there were 463 million diabetic patients in the world. By the year 2030, it is estimated that the number will have grown to 578 million! If something does not change soon, by 2045, it is possible that there could be 700 million people in the world who have this disease. The race is on. It will take every nation working together to conquer this problem.
Canada is in the top five countries that are leading the battle to destroy this disease and save future generations. Until that day comes, education and diabetic management is the best we can do. That means all of us working to ensure healthy lifestyles for ourselves and our children and support for others in our communities.