Anika Moa opens up on diabetes diagnosis: 'I felt shame at first then cried lots'

Kiwi singer and radio presenter Anika Moa has shared a very personal and honest story of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

The 40-year-old musician posted a photo of herself, decked out in running gear, looking very fit and healthy, but her caption painted a very different picture.

In the lengthy post The Hits radio presenter shared that she is "unravelling" and being her "complete honest and raw self" about her health struggles and the shock of receiving her diabetes diagnosis.

"I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes over two years ago," shared the singer. "It is rife on my Māori side of my whānau so it wasn't a complete shock.

"I felt shame at first then cried lots."

There are currently close to 250,000 New Zealanders living with diabetes, with this number predicted to grow to over 400,000 by 2022. Diabetes New Zealand estimates that one in four Kiwis suffer from the condition, with 90 per cent of those being type 2. The New Zealand Ministry of Health also claims that the rate of diagnosis among Māori and Pacific populations is approximately three times higher than that of other ethnic groups.

Diabetes is a condition in which the pancreas is unable to produce insulin, or the body has trouble using the insulin it does make. This leads to a rise in glucose levels in the blood that can cause long-term damage to organs and tissue.

One of the most effective management strategies for treating type 2 diabetes is a tightly controlled diet, exercise and, in many cases, insulin injections. From her Instagram post it looks like Moa is managing her condition admirably.

"I am on insulin and manage it really well (right now lol)," Moa joked.

"I cut down my sugar intake, I run and I am sober. I try to be healthy because I want to be around to see my moko being born," shared Moa, who has four children - Marigold, Soren, and twins Taane and Barry.

Moa, known for her musical talent, honesty and quirky sense of humour is hoping that by opening up about her battle she will encourage others to do the same.

"I have accepted that I am a diabetic and the only way is upwards and onwards so yeah, that's my truth. What's yours? Let's share."

Also talking about her diagnosis on-air, Anika told her co-hosts Stacey Morrison and Mike Puru that one silver lining of having the underlying health condition meant that she is eligible to receive the vaccine for Covid-19 earlier.

Watch what she had to say about it all above.

Follow Stacey, Mike, and Anika on Facebook and Instagram and on iHeartRadio:

This article was first published by the NZ Herald and is republished here with permission. Additional reporting by The Hits.