Diabetes-related conditions

Over time, diabetes can damage the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves. This pages has useful information and links for diabetes-related conditions.

Eye care

Damage to the eyes blood vessels, particularly the retina, can affect the sight and lead to blindness if not picked up early.

There are a number of models being used within New Zealand to provide diabetes eye care (retinal screening). An increasing number of district health boards are devolving the retinal photography component from hospital-based services to community-based optometrists and mobile screening services. The mobile services, including primary health organisation-delivered services, use photo-screening (either technicians or nurses) to screen patients and operate in settings such as marae and doctors surgeries.

Successful models require general practitioner and specialist care integration and sharing of information, which includes photographic images and ophthalmology support for training, treatment and audit.

National Diabetes Retinal Screening Grading System and Referral Guidelines (2006) and Resources (2008) has been developed by the Ministry of Health to support the service and provide resources.

Foot care

Diabetes foot complications are common and can occur from nerve (neuropathy) or blood vessel damage (macrovascular disease or microvascular disease) due to high blood glucose.

Health practitioners can use the Diabetes Foot Screening and Risk Stratification Tool to screen patients for their risk of foot complications. The tool provides a referral pathway for those at risk or with active foot disease.

Diabetes New Zealand has useful information on diabetes-related foot problems.

Kidney health

Damage to small blood vessels caused by diabetes can result in kidney damage leading to kidney failure.

Kidney Health New Zealand provides patient support and information on dialysis, kidney disease and living a healthy life with renal damage.

Cardiovascular disease and stroke

The following links contain useful information about cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Obesity

The obesity section of this website contains questions and answers, information on how obesity is measured, the most common method for measuring obesity rates, and other obesity-related information.

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