What is Diabetes?

Normally insulin transports blood sugar into your cells, where it is used as energy.  Diabetes results when your body can't use or make enough insulin, so the level of glucose (sugar) in your blood becomes higher than usual.

Why should I control my blood sugar?

It is important to control your blood sugar levels because it will help reduce your risk of complications from your Diabetes.  This can cause damage to your organs, such as the heart, kidneys , eyes and nerve endings.  People with Diabetes are two to four times more likely to have a heart attack or stroke than people without Diabetes.

How can i reduce my risk?

  • Follow a heart healthy eating pattern* and reduce foods with added sugars and white flour bakery items.  Choose bread and cereals with high-fibre content.
  • Lose weight if you are overweight.
  • Do moderate physical activity for at least 30 minutes on most days or daily.
  • Stop smoking, if you smoke.

* Ask your GP, Nurse or Health Professional for an information sheet.

Free Diabetes Check

Did you know if you have Diabetes, you can have a free yearly check up at your medical centre - ask your Nurse when yours is due.  This is part of the Long Term Conditions Programme available to all West Coasters with Diabetes.

Healthy eating is a key part of managing diabetes.  The dietitians at the WCPHO can help you to learn about the relationship between food, exercise and medication to help manage your diabetes.  If you have type 2 diabetes that is managed by your GP practice and you would like free input from a dietitian, either in clinic or as part of a group, please see the “Nutrition*” section for more details.