Because diabetes is a long-term condition that can affect nearly every part of the body and may contribute to other serious health problems (often referred to as “complications”), it needs to be managed throughout a person's life with active self-care and medical care. Talk to your healthcare provider about how you can take an active part in preventing or slow other potential health issues.
WHAT INCREASES THE RISK OF DEVELOPING A COMPLICATION?
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Hyperglycaemia (high blood glucose)
- Poor lipid levels
A whānau / aiga / family history of diabetes complications (i.e. a blood relative who has also developed a complication of diabetes) increases the health risks for a person with diabetes. Some ethnic groups are more prone to particular types of diabetes complications – e.g. Maori are more at risk of developing diabetic kidney disease, and/or diabetic nerve damage.
PREVENTION OF COMPLICATIONS
Blood glucose levels, cholesterol levels and blood pressure can be managed with healthy eating, exercise and medication where it is prescribed.
- Maintain healthy blood glucose levels (HbA1c ≤ 55 mmol/mol or as recommended by your healthcare provider).
- Maintain healthy blood pressure <130/80 mmHg
- Maintain healthy lipid levels
- Quit smoking
- Attend regular heart assessments and diabetes reviews with your healthcare professional to pick up any emerging complication
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HOW DIABETES CAN AFFECT OUR BODY