Service Description

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About us

The mission of the Seabird Mobile Diabetes Program is to provide diabetes care, including vision and blood screening, which will prevent long term complications of Diabetes and improve the quality of life for on-reserve First Nations People. We operate in Southern British Columbia and Fraser Valley, traveling to remote First Nations reserves doing blood work screening, retinal screening, and diabetes education outreach.

Diabetes management

We provides comprehensive assessment, education, monitoring and support for community members with diabetes.

Culturally aware

Our team provides culturally sensitive
and individualized care in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.

Comprehensive care

Our consists of a doctor, registered nurses (certified diabetes educators), community diabetes educators, and nutrition and fitness educators.

Schedule

Find out when we will be in your community!

Diabetes

Diabetes is a lifelong condition where either your body does not produce enough insulin, or your body cannot use the insulin it produces.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a lifelong condition where either your body does not produce enough insulin, or your body cannot use the insulin it produces. Your body needs insulin to change the sugar from food into energy. There are three main types of diabetes:

  • Type 1, where the body makes little or no insulin;
  • Type 2, where the body makes insulin but cannot use it properly; and
  • Gestational Diabetes, where the body is not able to properly use insulin during pregnancy. This type of diabetes goes away after the baby is born.

Nine out of ten people with diabetes have Type 2.

Several factors contribute to a person’s risk of developing diabetes. Scientists do not know exactly what causes type 1 diabetes, but they believe that both genetic factors and exposure to viruses are involved.

Risk factors that contribute to developing type 2 diabetes include:

  • being overweight or obese;
  • pre-diabetes;
  • advanced age;
  • physical inactivity;
  • having high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol;
  • having a family history of diabetes;
  • belonging to certain high-risk ethnic populations (e.g. Aboriginal, African, Hispanic, Asian);
  • having a history of gestational diabetes; and
  • having other conditions which may include vascular disease, polycycstic ovary syndrome, acanthosis nigricans and schizophrenia
Note: In some cases, a person can have type 2 diabetes but not have any signs and symptoms. Regular check-ups with a health care provider are an important factor in preventing or managing diabetes.

Early diagnosis of diabetes is extremely important. The earlier diabetes is diagnosed, the sooner a person can take steps to manage it well and prevent or delay any complications.

Anyone who has any of these signs and symptoms should visit a healthcare provider. The healthcare provider will decide if a test that will diagnose diabetes is warranted. Symptoms can include:

  • unusual thirst;
  • frequent urination;
  • weight change (gain or loss);
  • extreme fatigue or lack of energy;
  • blurred vision;
  • frequent or recurring infections;
  • cuts and bruises that are slow to heal;
  • tingling or numbness in the hands or feet; and
  • trouble getting or maintaining an erection.

In some cases, a person can have diabetes but not have any signs and symptoms. Regular check-ups with a health care provider are an important factor in preventing or managing diabetes.

Every day we make choices that affect our health. Take these important five steps to make your lifestyle healthier and to start to prevent or reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and pre-diabetes:

Maintain a healthy weight

  • Include a good balance of activity and healthy diet
  • Talk to your healthcare provider about what a healthy weight is for you
  • Learn how to calculate your Body Mass Index

Eat a healthy, balanced diet

  • Eat a diet with lots of variety
  • Eat 5 to 10 fruits and vegetables a day.
  • Eat more fibre
  • Eat less fat and salt
  • Limit the amount of alcohol you drink
  • Select appropriate portion sizes

Ensure regular physical activity

  • Be active at least 30 minutes every day
  • Include activities that build endurance, strength and flexibility
  • Find activities that you enjoy and that include your family
  • Learn how physical activity can help people with type 2 diabetes

Don’t smoke

  • If you smoke, it’s never too late to quit
  • Avoid second-hand smoke

Keep your health in check

  • Get enough sleep and rest
  • Be active – physical activity is a great way to reduce stress
  • Manage high blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose
Prediabetes refers to blood sugar levels that are higher than normal. But, not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. This is a great warning sign for you to begin to make changes in your life. Small changes can have a big impact on blood sugar.
Everything you eat turns to sugar (glucose) that the body needs for energy. But glucose can’t get into your cells without insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas. It delivers glucose from your blood to your cells. Over time, if you have lots of blood glucose (either from food or stress) the pancreas is working hard and it will get tired and start to slow down. When it slows down that’s when the sugars in your blood stay high.
Diabetic eye disease refers to a group of eye problems that people with diabetes may face as a complication of diabetes. All can cause severe vision loss or even blindness.Diabetic eye disease may include:

  • Diabetic retinopathy—damage to the blood vessels in the retina.
  • Cataract—clouding of the eye’s lens. Cataracts develop at an earlier age in people with diabetes.
  • Glaucoma—increase in fluid pressure inside the eye that leads to optic nerve damage and loss of vision. A person with diabetes is nearly twice as likely to get glaucoma as other adults.

You can have eye damage before you notice any visual changes. Diabetes Retinopathy can be treated.  Laser eye surgery may reduce the risk of severe vision loss by 90% if detected early, before vision loss occurs.You can protect your eyes with good control of your blood sugar levels.

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Related services

Diabetes sessions
Each month on the last Thursday we host a diabetes session for those who have been diagnosed and their families. Sessions include helpful tips, information, and are geared towards topics you want to learn about like: dental healthy, foot care, nutrition, lab clinics, and we bring in a variety of health care providers to offer medical advice.
Read more >

One-on-one nutrition education
Want individualized information and education on nutrition to promote your own healthy? We can help you with:
Read more >
Home & community care
The Home and Community Care services provide a range of health care and support services for eligible residents who have acute, chronic, palliative or rehabilitative health care needs.
Read more >

Book a clinic

If you would like further information or would like to speak to someone about booking a clinic in your community, please contact us by phone or e-mail Bonnie Nickel, LPN, at (604) 796-2177 ext. 5008,email bonnienickel@seabirdisland.ca or fax (604) 796-1124.

Contact us

Have a question or want to learn more about our Clinic? Call us at (604) 796-2177 ext. 5008 to talk to a representative about our program.