How a Diabetes Diagnosis Gave This Nova Scotia Fisherman a New Start
Learning to manage diabetes takes time and effort—but it’s worth it.
When Weldon, a lifelong fisherman from Glace Bay, N.S., was first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, he worried about what the future would hold.
But with the support of his daughter and caregiver, Nancy, he was eventually able to land on a diet that worked for him—and would manage his diabetes and heart disease simultaneously. “I didn’t realize cardiovascular disease and diabetes can go hand in hand,” Nancy says, but for people living with diabetes, there is a greater risk and it’s common for issues with cardiovascular health.
“When a person’s health conditions are managed, it’s just like… whew,” Nancy says, letting out a sigh of relief.
Though the journey to a healthier lifestyle was hard and took a lot of trial and error, it was worth it for a second chance at life. “Don’t give up,” says Weldon. “Keep going. This is just the beginning.”
What is type 2 diabetes?
If you’re diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, it means that your body cannot make enough insulin to control the amount of glucose in your blood, or it can’t properly use the insulin that it does create. Unlike type 1 diabetes, in which the body cannot make any insulin at all, type 2 most frequently develops after age 40. The majority of diabetes cases in Canada (90 per cent) are type 2.
What is the link between type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular health?
There are several risk factors for type 2 diabetes that are related to the health of your cardiovascular system, including high blood pressure and high levels of cholesterol or other fats in the blood.
How can you manage a diabetes or prediabetes diagnosis?
Aside from medications recommended by your doctor, lifestyle changes may help control your blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and weight. To take charge, work on eating a healthy diet filled with fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein, increase your physical activity and manage your stress levels.
With the right support, you or your loved one can continue to live a full, happy life despite a diabetes or prediabetes diagnosis. Speak with your healthcare provider for more information and visit heartandstroke.ca and diabetes.ca to learn about diabetes and cardiovascular risks.