The Fono

Health & Social Services

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Diabetes is one of New Zealand's most serious health issues. Over 240,000 people in NZ are diagnosed with diabetes and an estimated 100,000 additional people have it, but do not know it. The Fono Diabetes Clinic is taking action, offering assistance to people with diabetes and helping you to take control of your health.

Although diabetes cannot yet be cured it can be managed, so people with it can lead a full and active life. Diabetes is a disease where your body cannot control its blood sugar levels properly, either because it does not make enough (or any) insulin, or because your cells have become resistant to insulin.

A person is diagnosed with diabetes when they have too much glucose (sugar) in the blood due to the pancreas not making enough insulin.

There are three types of diabetes:

  • type 1 - people who do not make any insulin (or very little)
  • type 2 - people who are still making insulin but the production is sluggish or their body is resistant to insulin
  • gestational diabetes (diabetes of pregnancy), when a pregnant woman has high levels of glucose in her blood

Unlike type 1 and type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes is usually temporary and normally disappears after pregnancy. However, a woman who has had gestational diabetes has an increased risk (50-60%) of developing type 2 diabetes in the future; therefore they should be tested for diabetes each year.

Symptoms of diabetes can vary, some of these include:

  • thirst
  • passing more urine
  • weight loss
  • mood changes
  • abdominal pain
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • extreme hunger
  • poor concentration and performance

Depending on the symptoms, your age and your background, diabetes can be affecting your life without you even knowing it.

Anyone can get diabetes and The Fono is here to help. The Fono West offers a diabetes clinic service to eligible patients, offering awareness, education and insulin treatment options.

Support is offered to patients who have ongoing long-term chronic diabetes, including follow up support when you leave the clinic.

Team members will contact you with reminders when you are due to renew or start new medications and work with you to identify any barriers to health, explain any terminology, condition or treatment that you do not understand.

If you are concerned you or someone close to you is being affected by diabetes, contact The Fono West Diabetes Clinic (09) 837 1780 or speak to your Fono GP.

Every day 50 more people are diagnosed with diabetes; take control before it takes control of you.

Source: Diabetes New Zealand

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