Diabetes symposium offers healthy living tips

An upcoming diabetes symposium aims to help people make small changes that will have beneficial impacts on their health.

An upcoming diabetes symposium aims to help people make small changes that will have beneficial impacts on their health.

The Canadian Diabetes Association hosts its annual educational symposium Saturday (Nov.19), from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Coast Bastion Inn, located at 11 Bastion St.

Keynote speakers include Clair Biglow, presenting Is your Doctor Enough?, and Patricia Chuey, presenting Weight Management for Good.

Registration and exhibits open at 8:15 a.m. People can register for $15 or get more information by calling 250-729-3824 or e-mailing erin.lutz@diabetes.ca.

Chuey, a registered dietitian and nutrition consultant and chairwoman of Dietitians of Canada board, said the symposium is beneficial regardless of whether people have diabetes.

“It’s basically a healthy living event,” she said.

Chuey’s session will examine what people are eating, lifestyle habits and small changes people can make to maintain a healthy diet.  She said it’s proven that when a person’s weight is in the healthy range and blood sugar is under control, there are fewer complications.

When people are first diagnosed with diabetes, there are a lot of questions. People often feel pressure at every meal or snack, wondering if they’re eating the right thing, said Chuey, who plans to help answer those questions.

“It’s already stressful to face a diagnosis of diabetes,” she said. “I want people to go away from the seminar feeling like there is no need to feel deprived of any food out there. They can fit it into a diabetes diet.”

It’s vital for people to get their blood sugar under control, but that doesn’t mean people have to carry a calculator with them everywhere they go and count every calorie. Often the missing link in people’s diets is balanced eating, eating in a way that will jumpstart the system for optimum weight loss, said Chuey.

There are more than nine million Canadians living with diabetes or prediabetes, and more than 20 people diagnosed every hour. There are more than 47,000 people with diabetes on Vancouver Island.

The Canadian Diabetes Association says millions of Canadians are living with undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes.

Left untreated, diabetes can create other health complications including heart, kidney and eye disease as well as nerve damage.

The Canadian Diabetes Association offers resources and programs to get people informed, including speaking to groups to promote healthy lifestyles, hosting education symposiums and referrals to other services.

For more information, please call the association’s Nanaimo and District branch at 250-729-3824, visit the office at Brooks Landing, 255-2000 Island Highway North, or go to www.diabetes.ca.