Taking care with Diabetes (type 2)

When you have a long-term condition, it’s important to take care of yourself and follow the advice of your healthcare team so you can prevent your condition from worsening or getting complications. This guide will help you to know what you should be doing, and what to do if you start feeling worse. Our aim is to ensure that you get the care you need, when you need it. We want you to be able to look after yourself and know your warning signs, so that you don’t end up in an emergency situation


It’s important to keep your glucose levels as close to your agreed target range as possible when you have diabetes. To do this, you will need to look at your diet and lifestyle and make any necessary changes. The three biggest areas to look at are eating healthily, losing weight if you are overweight and keeping active. If you are prescribed medication or need insulin injections, ensure you are taking this as advised.

People with diabetes are at increased risk of becoming seriously ill from the flu. It is really important that you get your flu vaccination before the start of winter.

A healthy lifestyle is a main factor in management of type 2 diabetes, if you are looking for support free advice and resources can be found via the NHS:

If you are on diabetes medication that puts you at risk of hypoglycaemia (low blood sugars) ensure you carry hypo treatment with you and keep near your bed if you are unwell. More information can be found here: https://www.diabetes.org.uk/guide-to-diabetes/complications/hypos.

When to get medical advice

As type 2 diabetes is a long-term condition, you’ll be in regular contact with your diabetes care team. The team will also need to check your eyes, feet and nerves regularly because they can also be affected by diabetes

You should also be seen regularly – at least once a year – to check how well your diabetes is being controlled over the long term. At your diabetes annual review you will have eight key health checks including bloods, feet, urine, BMI and blood pressure. The aim is to pick up any changes early and prevent them getting worse. More information here: https://www.diabetes.org.uk/guide-to-diabetes/managing-your-diabetes/care-to-expect

You should have had advice about how to look after yourself when you are ill – known as your “sick day rules”: Guidance on sick day rules for diabetes can be found here:

Please make sure you have adequate supplies of medication and monitor weather forecasts at regular intervals.

For up-to-date information and support with your diabetes please visit the UK charity Diabetes UK where there are free meal plans, information about medications, complications, living with diabetes and also support forums from other people living with diabetes across the UK.

Free to self-register online learning about type 2 diabetes: https://www.healthyliving.nhs.uk/

For locally run diabetes education sessions please contact the NEEDS team to discuss your options. Call 0345 214 3313 option 2. or website: https://diabetesneeds.co.uk/our-services/diabetes-education/

Remember you can access healthcare services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If there is an urgent need, you can obtain medical advice by visiting 111 online – 111.nhs.uk – or phoning NHS 111.

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