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Diabetes: Recognize the signs and symptoms

Every day, 620 Canadians are diagnosed with diabetes1. And by 20302, at least one in 10 adults could have diabetes.

Types of diabetes

There are three major types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Type 2 diabetes (most common)
  • Gestational diabetes (occurs during pregnancy, and is usually temporary)

Type 1

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease and is also known as insulin-dependent diabetes. People with type 1 diabetes can’t produce their own insulin (and can't regulate their blood sugar) because their body is attacking the pancreas.

Type 1 diabetes generally develops in childhood or adolescence but can also develop in adulthood. People with type 1 need to inject insulin or use an insulin pump to ensure their bodies have the right amount of insulin. 

Type 2

People with type 2 diabetes can't properly use the insulin made by their bodies, or their bodies aren't able to produce enough insulin.

Type 2 diabetes is most commonly developed in adulthood, although it can also occur in childhood. According to the International Diabetes Federation, over 50% of type 2 diabetes is preventable by adopting a healthy lifestyle. It can sometimes be managed with healthy eating and regular exercise alone, but may also require medications or insulin therapy. 


Signs and symptoms

If you have any of the following symptoms, contact your health-care provider right away. If you don’t have symptoms but are over the age of 40, you can check with your doctor to be screened for diabetes.


To do a quick check on your risk of diabetes, complete this questionnaire.

NOTE: The result is not a substitute for actual clinical diagnosis. If you have any concerns, you can discuss your results with a health-care practitioner, (e.g. family doctor, nurse practitioner, pharmacist, etc.). 

Questions? We’re here to help. Check your benefits booklet for benefit plan terms and coverage details. If you need more information, that is not already covered in your benefits booklet, contact OTIP Benefits Services at 1‑866‑783‑6847. You can also visit our Help Centre.

Looking to learn more about diabetes? OTIP has compiled a list of resources to help you connect with the resources you need. We are here to support you.

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