A high blood glucose level over a long period of time (due to poor control or undiagnosed diabetes) may lead to tissue damage in the body.
Tissues most at risk are blood vessels and nerves, which leads to problems with the heart, eyes, kidneys and feet.
For this reason, heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure and blindness are more common in people with diabetes.
To maintain good health, and help reduce the risk of long term complications, you should:
1. Keep blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible (3.5 – 8mmol/L).
2. Visit your doctor regularly so potential problems can be detected early.
3. Quit smoking – smoking also causes damage to blood vessels.
4. Undertake regular physical activity – aerobic activity three to four times a week for about 30 minutes is ideal.
5. Have your blood pressure monitored regularly and treated if needed.
6. Have regular eye examinations by a medical eye specialist (Ophthalmologist).
7. Examine your feet daily for any sores, calluses or cuts. If you discover any problems have it seen to by a podiatrist or doctor.
8. Maintain a healthy eating plan – low in fat, low in sugar and high in fibre-rich carbohydrates.