Looking after yourself
There is no cure for diabetes, but you can manage it by making healthy choices. It’s very important to try to manage your diabetes. You can join the National Diabetes Services Scheme or attend our Education Sessions. The following pictorial guides also have information about how to manage your diabetes:
Complications of diabetes
If you don’t manage your diabetes you may develop a complication of diabetes. Some complications of diabetes are:
- Kidney disease – many Aboriginal people have kidney disease from having diabetes. Kidney disease makes you very sick and if you get kidney disease you might have to go on dialysis, which means spending lots of time in hospital and away from home. Many people die from kidney disease.
- Eye problems – When you don’t manage your diabetes you end up with too much sugar (glucose) in your blood and it builds up in your eye and damages your eyes making your vision blurry. Diabetes can even make you go blind.
- Heart problems or stroke – When you don’t manage your diabetes you end up with too much sugar in your blood and this makes your blood sticky and thick. This makes it hard for you heart to pump blood around your body. The extra work on your heart and blood vessels can cause a heart attack or stroke. Many people die from heart attacks and strokes.
- Problems with nerves – Our nerves are how we feel things in our body. Diabetes can damage your nerves. This can cause problems with your feet, stomach, bladder (problems with weeing) and bowel (so you can’t control when you go to the toilet).
- Problems with feet – Diabetes can make you lose feeling in your feet. So you might get a sore on your foot and not know about it because you can’t feel pain. If you don’t notice a sore on your foot it might become and ulcer and get really bad so you might have to have your foot or leg amputated (cut off).