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Diabetes is a disease where your body can’t control your blood sugar properly. Over time, this can lead to complications such as heart disease, kidney failure, blindness, nerve damage and damage to your feet.

Diabetes is on the increase. According to Diabetes New Zealand, the number of us living with the disease doubled from 125,000 to 250,000 between 2005 and 2015. A Poor diet, sedentary lifestyles and increasing rates of obesity are major contributing factors. Conversely, more than half of the most common form of diabetes are preventable, or can at least be delayed by pursuing a healthy lifestyle.

Do You Have These Symptoms?

The symptoms of diabetes can include:

  • feeling tired
  • feeling thirsty
  • going to the toilet often
  • getting infections frequently
  • infections that take a long time to heal
  • blurred vision
  • tingling and numbness in the feet
  • mood changes
  • weight loss
  • feeling hungry often

Have a good think about these now as, these symptoms sometimes go unnoticed, as the disease can develop very gradually. If you have any of these symptoms, discuss them with your doctor, who can organise blood tests to check for diabetes.

Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes is the least common form of the disease, and most often affects children. While it cannot be prevented, it can be managed by taking insulin to correct blood sugar levels, along with healthy food choices and exercise.

Type 2 Diabetes is the more common form of the disease. With this form, there is a higher risk of it developing among Maori, Pacific and Asian peoples, and those with diabetes in their family.

If you’re also overweight, have high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels, then a general medical check-up is recommended. Diabetes cannot be cured, but earlier detection can lead to better control and management of the condition and an improved outcome.

Clive says, “Along with medicines from your doctor, a healthy diet, getting plenty of physical exercise and losing weight is important.”

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