Valley Diabetes

Valley Diabetes Education Centre logo

A Community-Based Program of Riverside Health Care, Valley Diabetes Education Centre offers Diabetes education to the residents of the Rainy River District and serves as a resource to health care professionals in the community.

The Centre uses a collaborative approach, including the expertise of physicians, nursing, chiropody, physiotherapy, pharmacy and lab and community counsellors. We offer an open referral system whereby clients can self-refer or can be referred by a physician or other health care professionals. Two Diabetes Educators, a full-time Registered Dietician and a part-time Registered Nurse and part-time Receptionist staff our program. Clients are invited to bring spouses, family or friends to their appointment.

206 Victoria Ave.
Fort Frances, ON P9A 2B7
Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. (closed weekends and holidays)
(807) 274-4828
*Voicemail is available in each department where patient may direct questions, requests or advise of cancellations.

Understanding Diabetes

Educational Video

Diabetes is a lifelong condition in which your body cannot properly store and use food for energy. Maintaining near normal blood sugar levels will reduce risk of complications, including: Heart Disease, Stroke, peripheral Vascular Disease, Kidney Disease (Nephropathy), Eye Disease (Retinopathy), Nerve Disease (Neuropathy) which may lead to amputation, impotence

Types of Diabetes

  • Type 1 Diabetes is an auto immune disorder with no known cause, accounting for about 10% of the Diabetes population. At present there is no cure and treatment is daily insulin injections.
  • Type 2 Diabetes makes up the other 90% of the Diabetes population. Its onset is usually adulthood, but it is becoming more prevalent in high-risk youth, with the pancrea unable to produce enough insulin or the insulin is not working properly (insulin resistance). Treatment is healthy eating and exercise, oral medication and/or insulin injections.
  • Gestational Diabetes is discovered in pregnancy, generally between 24 and 28 weeks gestation, due to the effects of placental hormones on the insulin action. This condition goes away after birth but both mom and baby are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life. Treatment is typically diet and exercise but may require insulin injections.

Symptoms - Recognize these Signs?

  • Unusual thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Weight change
  • Extreme fatigue or lack of energy
  • Blurred vision
  • Frequent or recurring infections
  • Cuts and bruises that are slow to heal
  • Tingling or numbness in hands or feet
  • Trouble getting and maintaining an erection

Note: In Type 1 diabetes, the symptoms progress quickly.

Risk Factors

No one knows what causes Type 1 Diabetes. There is no known single cause of Type 2 Diabetes, but some factors put people at a greater risk. If you are 40 or over, you are at risk for Type 2 Diabetes and should be tested at least every three years.

If you meet any of the following risks you should be tested for diabetes earlier and/or more often:

  • A parent, brother or sister with diabetes
  • A member of high-risk group (Aboriginal, Hispanic, South Asian or African descent)
  • Health related complications that are associated with diabetes; heart disease, kidney disease, eye disease, impotence or nerve damage
  • Gave birth to a baby that weighed more than 4 kg (9 lbs) at birth
  • Had gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy)
  • Impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) or impaired fasting glucose (IFG)
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol or other fats in the blood
  • Overweight (especially if you carry most of your weight around your middle)
  • Diagnosed with any of the following conditions
    • Polycystic ovary syndrome
    • Acanthosis nigrican (darkened patches of skin)
    • Schizophrenia

    The earlier you are diagnosed, the sooner you can take action to stay well – now and in the future! 

    Diabetes and your body - educational videos

    Diabetes and your Heart

    Diabetes and Kidney Damage

    Diabetes and your Eyes 


    Diabetes and Oral Health

    Diabetes and Wound Care

    Daily Foot Care


    Building a Good Plate

    Benefits of Physical Activity

    Reading Nutrition Labels   


    Diabetes and Alcohol 

    Benefits of Testing

    Staying in Your Target Range


    How to Test Your Blood

    What Do My A1C Results Mean

    OHAs and Low Blood Sugar

    Join the Healthy Living Food Box Program Here

    More Diabetes Informartion:

    Diabetes Fact Sheets
    Canadian Diabetes Association
    American Diabetes Association
    Health Canada
    Joslin Diabetes Center
    National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
    Dietitians of Canada
    Eat Right Ontario
    Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
    The Kidney Foundation of Canada
    Heart & Stroke Foundation