Mate huka , Complications of Diabetes
Complications of Diabetes
Keeping well with diabetes
Get your free yearly check up.
To keep well with diabetes (Glossary description: Diabetes is a syndrome of disordered metabolism, usually due to a combination of hereditary and environmental causes, resulting in abnormally high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia).):
- Eat well – make healthy food choices
- Be physical
- Don’t smoke
- Take your tablets or insulin as advised by your health provider
- Have your blood pressure, blood fats, kidneys, feet and eyes checked regularly.
And most of all – keep your blood glucose as close to normal as you can. Normal blood glucose is between 4mmol/l and 8mmol/l.
You are entitled to a free yearly check up. This is very important to make sure that you stay well.
Complications of diabetes
Diabetes can damage your:
So keep well by eating healthy foods and being physically active everyday – and have regular checkups.
High blood glucose levels over time can cause damage throughout the body. It is very important to keep all the appointments related to your diabetes.
Having poorly controlled diabetes puts you more at risk of a heart attack (Glossary description: Myocardial infarction, commonly known as a heart attack, occurs when the blood supply to part of the heart is interrupted causing some heart cells to die. This is most commonly due to occlusion (blockage) of a coronary artery following the rupture of a vulnerable atherosclerotic plaque, which is an unstable collection of lipids (like cholesterol) and white blood cells (especially macrophages) in the wall of an artery.) or stroke (Glossary description: A stroke is the rapidly developing loss of brain function(s) due to disturbance in the blood supply to the brain. This can be due to ischemia (lack of blood supply) caused by thrombosis or embolism or due to a hemorrhage. As a result, the affected area of the brain is unable to function, leading to inability to move one or more limbs on one side of the body, inability to understand or formulate speech, or inability to see one side of the visual field.). As well as eating healthy foods and being physically active regularly, you can prevent hear problems by:
- Having your blood pressure checked at least 2-3 times a year and taking any tablets you are given to keep you blood pressure healthy.
- Having a blood test every year to check that the lipids (fats) in your blood. Some lipids are good and some are bad. The bad ones will clog up your artieries and cause heart attacks and strokes.
YOUR KIDNEYS (yearly check)
Diabetes can cause kidney failure and lead to dialysis. To reduce the risk of this:
- Have your urine tested for microalbumin every year – a very early sign of damage
- Have your blood pressure controlled – as high blood pressure can also damage your kidneys
- If you are on pills called ACE inhibitors make sure you take them as advised. These pills are very good at treating the early signs of kidney damage and can sometimes reverse it.
YOUR FEET (yearly check)
Diabetes can also affect your feet if the nerves get damaged or the blood supply gets blocked. To reduce this:
- Every year ask your doctor to check your feet. They will use a monofilament to check sensation (don’t worry, this doesn’t hurt) and check the pulses. The doctor will tell you if your feet have been damaged by diabetes.
- If you get an infection in your foot, check it with your doctor.
YOUR EYES (2 yearly check)
Diabetes can affect your eyes and can lead to blindness. TO reduce this:
- Every two years have the back of your eyes photographed. The camera will photograph your retina to check for damage.
- Early signs of damage to your eyes can be treated with laser therapy which reduces the risk of further damage.
Diabetes can damage the blood vessels of the penis making it difficult to get an erection (impotence).
Women can suffer from “thrush” a fungal infection of the vagina.
Caring for feet
- Wear well fitting shoes
- Check inside before putting shoes on
- Avoid walking in bare feet
- Cheek feet daily
- Wash feet everyday
- Cut toenails carefully
- Dry feet well
- Moisturise feet
If you have been told that you have high risk feet (feet that have been damaged by diabetes) you will need to take extra care.
- Wear comfortable shoes that fit well and support your foot – and wear cotton or wool socks (not jandals or gumboots).
- Check inside you shoes before you put them on – to make sure there is nothing inside them that can irritate your feet.
- Avoid walking in bare feet.
- Check your feet every day – if you can’t see your soles use a mirror
- Wash your feet every day – but check the water temperature before you put your feet in
- Cut your toenails carefully
- Dry carefully between your toes
- Use moisturizing cream for dry skin on your feet
- Visit the podiatrist once a year.
Diabetes and smoking increase chances of complications.
Smoking and diabetes are a harmful combination. People with diabetes already have an increased risk of heart disease and smoking increases this. So, if you smoke, think about stopping.
- Call Quitline or talk to your doctor about what you can take to help you giving up smoking
- Pick a date to stop smoking that is meaningful to you, such as your birthday or a holiday
- Tell family, friend and co-workers that you are quitting
- Completely get rid of tobacco products from your home, car and place of work
- Anticipate withdrawal symptoms and plan how you will deal with them – such as using herbal formulas or nicotine replacements therapy.
Quitting smoking will be not only good for you but also your family. They will no longer be exposed to harmful second- hand smoke. Think of your whānau, especially your mokopuna.