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Amputated limbs, blindness, erectile dysfunction, stroke, kidney and heart disease are just a few complications of a condition suffered by over 200,000 New Zealanders.
Diabetes is a sometimes life-threatening disease that affects three times as many Māori and Pacific Islanders as it does other cultures.
And Ministry of Health figures suggest that another 100,000 New Zealanders could have the condition without realising it.
Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki dietictian Claire Cannon says once a person gets over the initial shock of a diabetes diagnosis they can focus on implementing positive changes to improve their health.
“I have seen people make a real positive difference to their health by improving their diet, becoming more active and reducing stress,” she says.
Diabetes occurs when the hormone insulin, produced by the pancreas, doesn’t do its job properly. Insulin is needed to balance our blood sugars, which increase when we consume carbohydrates and sugary foods.
There are three types of diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune condition where the body attacks the cells that produce insulin. Without insulin blood levels in the body remain high resulting in damage to the vessels that supply blood to vital organs. Type 1 Diabetes cannot be prevented but it can be managed through a combination of medication, healthy food choices and exercise. People with Type 1 diabetes need to manage their blood sugar levels with insulin.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes and can be helped by maintaining a healthy weight and through making dietary changes and lifestyle changes.
Gestational Diabetes affects some women during pregnancy when they can’t produce enough insulin to meet the demands of a growing foetus – sometimes up to three times that of normal needs. Gestational diabetes usually disappears after pregnancy, however the woman’s risk of developing risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases by 50-60% in the future, so Diabetes NZ advises yearly blood tests.
The main symptoms of diabetes are frequent urination, excessive thirst, extreme hunger, abnormal weight loss, increased fatigue, irritability, recurrent infections, blurry vision and erectile dysfunction in men.
Claire says some people may not be aware they have diabetes, so if they recognise any or all of the symptoms above, they should see their GP, who can arrange blood tests.
World Diabetes Day is November 14.
Come walking with us
Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki Whānau Ora Navigators are hoping whānau will join the Hikoi ā Whānau walking series around Hauraki during March.
Walking is FREE and a great way to connect with your community!
Walking reduces stress, lowers your blood pressure, improves sleep and energises you!
Hikoi ā Whānau offers:
Aroha – giving with no expectation of return;
Whanāungatanga – It’s about being connected;
Whakapapa – knowing who you are;
Mana/Manaaki – building the mana of others, through nurturing and growing; and
Korero awhi – positive communication.
No matter what your age, size, level of fitness or situation
Waihi - March 3: 10.30am - 12 noon – Meet at the Goldmine lookout
Thames - March 13: 10.30am - 12 noon – Meet at Victoria Park
Coromandel - March 20: 10.30am-12 noon – Meet at the Te korowai Hauora o Hauraki clinic
Paeroa - March 27 10.30am- 12 noon – Meet at Paeroa Domain
Whānau Ora Navigator
if interested in joining
Hikoi ā Whānau
Beneficiaries who need free professional help with Work and Income issues such as entitlements, fraud/relationship investigations, reviews, appeals, and more can make an appointment to see a Waikato Community Law Advocate visiting Thames and Te Aroha next month.
Community Law Waikato advocate Ben Hoffman is experienced in Welfare Law and will be available by appointment only in Thames on March 22 and Te Aroha on March 15 from 12.30-3pm. Spaces are limited, so those needing welfare advice need to book on 0800 529 482.
Ben will also be providing training on Welfare Law for all community organisations that support beneficiaries. The training will include learning about entitlements, benefits, relationship status, common problems, reviews, appeals and more. The training is free, but a gold coin koha is appreciated to cover some of the costs. Training is from 10.30am to 12 noon.
Community Law Waikato provides free legal help to those in the Waikato who would otherwise not have access.
Training and appointments:
Thames – Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki, 210 Richmond Street, March 22
Te Aroha – Senior Citizens Association, 24 Church Street, Te Aroha, March 15
To make an appointment, phone 0800 529 482.
A Whānau Hauora Day hosted by Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki alongside the TCDC and local community, will be held at Hauraki Terrace Playground and Community Gardens on Waitangi Day, Wednesday, February 6.
The aim of the day is to promote the community gardens and make community connections.
The opening of a Pataka Kai/Community Pantry, gardening, a cooking demo, craft making, games, a hangi, BBQ, bouncy castle and an eagerness to learn are all also on the agenda.
From 11-2pm, whānau from neighbouring streets and throughout the community will be able to come along to the community gardens and help harvest the potatoes to be used in a sweetcorn and potato fritters cooking demo. Tamariki will have heaps to keep them entertained, including lots of games and a bouncy castle.
T3 (Transition Town Thames) maintains the community gardens, holding monthly working bees to encourage community participation and on-the-spot learning, but it is hoped that eventually the community will take ownership of them.
“We want people from the community to look after the gardens and to make them sustainable,” Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki Poukura Oranga, Manager Public and Community Health Services Debbie Petersen-Pilcher says.
This is a smoke and alcohol-free event and chilled water will be available all day.
Thanks to Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki, T3, TCDC and local whānau.
What: Hauraki Terrace Whānau Hauora Day
Where: Hauraki Terrace, Thames
Whānau from Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki whose New Year’s resolution is to take care of their health will get the support they need at a free Whānau Wellness Day on Wednesday, January 30.
This is open to all whānau who are registered with Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki or whānau who would like to be.
Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki clinical services manager Taima Campbell says the day will be a “one-stop shop” where existing and prospective clients will be able to access a range of medical and screening services and information, dependent on their needs.
Each client will receive a health passport and be directed to one or more of 12 different ‘stations’ throughout the facility offering access to a GP, Nurse Practitioner or nurse and services, including blood pressure checks, blood tests, vaccinations, cervical smears, wellness screening, smoking support and a range of services from Te Korowai and other community groups.
Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki staff will keep the kids inspired with fun activities in the courtyard ncouraging physical activity.
Alongside the wellness day, a dental van will be on site for from January 29 to February 1 offering free consultations for Community Service Card holders, with extractions or fillings from $50. Support will be available for those eligible for financial assistance from Work and Income. Dental appointments are needed - Contact Kath Makiri on 021 902 826.
The Free Whānau Wellness Day is on Wednesday, January 30 from 9.30-3.30pm. To register on the day, go to the Wharehui behind the Whānau Health Centre at 210 Richmond Street, Thames.
FREEPHONE: 0508 tekorowai 0508 835 676