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Diabetes is an epidemic: it's expected that 438 million people worldwide will have the disease by 2030.

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When a person has diabetes, the body doesn't produce any insulin or doesn't use insulin properly. If you have type 1 diabetes, the pancreas doesn't produce any insulin. If you have type 2 diabetes, the pancreas doesn't product enough insulin or the cells don't use this insulin.

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Prevalence of Diabetes

Diabetes is on the rise, and the numbers are expected to keep growing. Around 250 million people around the world suffer from diabetes. There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 diabetes, where individuals run out of insulin, and type 2, which is the more common type. There is an increasing number of children who are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Doctors are seeing more kids with type 2 diabetes who have high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Insulin Pumps

Insulin pumps have become more popular among diabetics in recent years. An insulin pump mimics a healthy pancreas and delivers a constant dose of fast-acting insulin (basal insulin). You push a button to deliver a surge of fast-acting insulin before each meal (bolus insulin). An insulin pump is a medical device that is used to deliver insulin just below your skin into your fatty tissue. An insulin pump will do your bolusing for you, so you can program your mealtimes into the pump and it will deliver a bolus infusion.

Insulin pumps are very small, and most are easily attached to the waistband with a clip or case. You can put them on the bed or place them under the pillow while sleeping.

Diabetes Exercise

Physical activity is especially important for people with type 2 diabetes, so they can control weight, lower the risk of heart disease, and lower blood sugar levels. There are two types of physical activity that can help with controlling blood sugars - aerobic (also called cardiovascular exercise) and strengthening exercise.

Types of cardiovascular exercise include running, power walking, kayaking, or swimming. Strength training helps control blood sugars. Types of strength training include lifting weights, rowing, and some forms of yoga. Both types of diabetes exercise encourage an increase in insulin sensitivity, which can help lower blood sugars. This means your blood sugars will come down and your pancreas won't have to work quite so hard. Talk to your health care provider about the safety of exercise before you start any workout program.

Check out HealthChoicesFirst endocrinologists, diabetes videos and transcripts, and resources on diabetes and nutrition, diabetes and dental problems, diabetes exercise, insulin pumps and more.

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Dr. Richard Bebb  

 Dr. Richard Bebb completed his clinical training in endocrinology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, followed by BC Research Training at the University of Washington in Seattle.

He was the Acting Head of the Division of Endocrinology at St. Paul's Hospital from 2005 to 2007 and is currently both an active and consultative staff member at the hospital, working as an endocrinologist and as a staff physician in the Healthy Heart Program Prevention Clinic. In addition, Dr. Bebb is a founding partner of Pacific Western Medical Education.

Dr. Sabrina Gill MD, MPH, FRCPC Endocrinologist

Dr. Sabrina Gill is an endocrinologist at St. Paul's Hospital and a Clinical Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at University of British Columbia.

Dr. Gill completed a Masters degree in Public Health in clinical epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences and her Medical degree at University of British Columbia (UBC).

Dr. Gill completed her Internal Medicine training at the University of Alberta and subspecialty training in Endocrinology and Metabolism at UBC. She continued her post-doctoral research training in Women's Health at the Reproductive Endocrine Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.