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 multi-disciplinary 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
(807) 274-4828
(807) 274-4838 Fax
Voicemail is available in each department where patient may direct questions, requests or advise of cancellations.


Monday – Friday 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. (closed on weekends and statutory holidays)


Self or Health Care Provider

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a lifelong condition in which your body cannot properly store and use food for energy. The Fuel that your body needs for energy is called glucose (a form of sugar). Glucose comes from carbohydrates such as starchy food, fruit, milk, some vegetable and sugar.


 Understanding Diabetes

 Educational Video (coming soon)


Types of Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes is an auto immune disorder (the exact cause is unknown). This occurs in about 10% of the Diabetes population. The body makes little or no insulin. At present there is no cure and treatment is daily insulin injections.

Type 2 Diabetes accounts for 90% of the Diabetes population. Its onset is usually adulthood, but it is becoming more prevalent in high risk youth. The pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin and the insulin is not working properly (insulin resistance). Treatment sis Healthy Eating and Exercise, diabetes pills and/or insulin injections

Gestational Diabetes is diabetes discovered in pregnancy. It is generally detected at 24-28 weeks gestation. It is due to the effects of Placental Hormones on the insulin action. This Diabetes goes away when the baby is born but a risk factor for both the mom and baby to develop Type 2 diabetes later in life. The treatment is most often by 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 really knows what causes Type 1 diabetes. As far as we know there is no single cause of type 2 diabetes, but some factors put people at a greater risk. If you are age 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:

  • I have a parent, brother or sister with diabetes
  • I am a member of high-risk group (Aboriginal, Hispanic, South Asian or African descent)
  • I have health related complications that are associated with diabetes; heart disease, kidney disease, eye disease, impotence or nerve damage
  • I gave birth to a baby that weighed over 4kg (9lbs) at birth
  • I had gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy)
  • I have been told I have impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) or impaired fasting glucose (IFG)
  • I have high blood pressure
  • I have high cholesterol or other fats in my blood
  • I am overweight (especially if you carry most of your weight around your middle)

I have been diagnosed with any of the following conditions:

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Acanthosis nigrican (darkened patches of skin)
  • Schizophrenia

Don’t ignore these risk factors. The earlier you are diagnosed, the sooner you can take action to stay well – now and in the future! If you already have diabetes, your children, brother and sisters are at risk. Urge them to be tested for diabetes.


To reduce your risk of complications from diabetes, try to maintain near normal blood sugar levels most of the time. Complications may include damage to the blood vessels and/or nerves.

  • Heart Disease, Stroke, peripheral Vascular Disease
  • Kidney Disease (Nephropathy)
  • Eye Disease (Retinopathy)
  • Nerve Disease (Neuropathy) which may lead to amputation, impotence

Diabetes and your body - Videos coming soon

Diabetes and your Heart                Diabetes Causes Kidney Damage   Diabetes and your Eyes                 Diabetes and Oral Health               Diabetes and Wound Care



Building a Good Plate                     Benefits of Physical Activity          Reading Nutrition Labels               Diabetes and Alcohol                      Daily Foot Care


How to Test Your Blood                What Do My A1C Results Mean       OHAs and Low Blood Sugar           Staying in Your Target Range        Benefits of Blood Sugar Testing

Healthy Living Food Box Program Brochure

Other sites or links you may be interested in:

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