Posted: October 4, 2016

National Aboriginal Diabetes Prevention Conference

Dr. Carl Durand, Optometrist and Karen Graham, Dietitian meeting with a delegate in Thunder Bay, Sept 27th and 28th, 2016 at the National Indigenous Diabetes Prevention Conference

Just came back from a few days in Thunder Bay, my old “Stomping Ground” where I lived for over 10 years. One of my early work positions was as a dietitian at the Fort William Clinic. It was fun to drive around and see some of the familiar places and I had a delicious meal at the trendy Tomlin restaurant with family and colleagues.

Thank you to everyone who stopped by our booth at the conference! I heard from many of the delegates that it was a great conference with lots of learnings and time to connect with friends and colleagues.

Diabetes and Eye Care

Dr. Durand has spent the past four years working in Newfoundland and Labrador as an Optometrist. He has seen thousands of patients with diabetes. Carl has shared a few pieces of advice:

  1. Annual eye exams for people with diabetes are very important. Often, you won’t have any visual symptoms when diabetes begins to affect the back of your eye.
  2. 90% of vision loss from diabetes is preventable with routine eye exams.
  3. I always like to remind my patients that quitting smoking, or at least cutting back, is beneficial for your eyes.
  4. All provinces cover the cost of a diabetic eye examination with an ophthalmologist (with a referral), but many also cover the cost of an annual diabetic eye exam with an optometrist too!

New Diabetes Resources

At the Conference, people had a chance to receive a copy of my 2017 Diabetes Calendar, as well as see my other two new resources, the Healthy Eating Guide poster and the First Nations Recipes. Here are some comments:

About the Calendar:

  •  I love the pictures in the calendar, the husky puppy is so cute!
  • The inspirational quotes are great.
  • I want to try the Oatmeal Bannock.
  • Last year I put them in the Christmas Hampers…people liked it.

About the Healthy Eating Guide:

  • I didn’t realize it was so large [it’s 11 x 17”]
  • I like the drum and the photos.
  • I use the hand symbols for hand portions so I like that on the back.

First Nation Recipes by Gregory Lepine:

  • I’m always looking for more recipes using traditional foods.


Back to Main

The suggestions and information in my blog are based on a thorough assessment of all the latest research and information. Reasonable steps have been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information presented. However, this blog is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Only your doctor can diagnose and treat a medical problem. Always consult your medical practitioner.