Living with type 2 diabetesAdvice for people with diabetes when unwell
Any illness or other type of stress will raise your blood sugar (glucose) levels, people with diabetes will not be able to produce more insulin to counteract this effect. Extra care needs to be taken with a diabetic patient.Diabetic retinopathy
If you have diabetes, it is vital that you have your eyes checked regularly. Having high blood sugar can damage the blood vessels in the retina which can lead to loss of vision and even blindnessPregnancy and diabetes
Pregnancy causes blood sugar levels to increase. Women with diabetes need to take extra care throughout their pregnancy and go for more frequent checkups with their doctor.Diabetic kidney disease
Having high blood sugar levels can damage the kidneys, causing them to leak abnormal amounts of proteins into the urine. Diabetic kidney disease can eventually lead to kidney failure.Diabetes, foot care and foot ulcers
Some people with diabetes develop foot ulcers. A foot ulcer is prone to infection, which may become severe. Find out why foot ulcers develop, what you can do to help prevent them, and typical treatments if one does occur.
Dr Sarah Jarvis’ personal advice and guidance on what living with type 2 diabetes will be like. Sarah touches on the risks that diabetes brings, such as an elevated risk of heart disease and eye problems, as well as the treatment pathways, medication and lifestyle changes that can vastly improve your outlook if followed carefully. If you want a primer in diabetes, this is the best place to start.
First aid for diabetes
Diabetes is all about handling the highs and lows of life, but do you know the signs of high and low blood sugar? Learn how to spot them and how you can fix them.Dealing with Hyperglycaemia (High Blood Sugar) Dealing with Hypoglycaemia (Low Blood Sugar)
A drop in blood sugar can be disastrous in some situations. Dr Sarah Jarvis talks about where the law stands on driving with diabetes.
Treatments and medication for type 2 diabetes
The first-line and BEST treatment for type 2 diabetes is diet, weight control and physical activity.For more information on a healthy diet, check out our staying healthy section below
Find an activty near you!
Doctors have a huge array of treatments, drugs and medicines at their disposal to help you fight type 2 diabetes. If diet and exercise are not enough, your doctor can try many different medications and combinations until you find the one that is right for you.
This guide will take you through the steps you and your doctor will takeStep 1 Metformin or Sulfonylurea medicines?
This will be your doctor's first choice in most situations. It works by increasing the sensitivity of your body’s cells to insulin and decreasing the amount of sugar released by the liver into the bloodstream, lowering your blood sugar level. It is the most common form of medication for people with type 2 diabetes.
Some people are unable to take metformin due to side effects or other reasons. This is where sulfonylureas come in. They work by increasing the production of insulin in the pancreas. Sulfonylurea medicines include glimepiride, gliclazide, glipizide, tolbutamide and glibenclamide
Sometimes metformin or sulfonylurea medicines are not enough to reduce the blood sugar of a patient with diabetes, in which case it may be necessary to supplement the treatment with another group of drugs.
DPP4 inhibitors work by blocking chemical signals in your body that would normally halt the production of insulin. By blocking these signals, your body can create more insulin to lower your blood sugar. DPP4 inhibitors include linagliptin, saxagliptin, sitagliptin and vildagliptin.
Thiazolidinediones make your cells more sensitive to insulin, meaning that your body uses the insulin you have more effectively. These drugs are unsuitable for people with heart failure. Thiazolidinediones include pioglitazone.
If the standard combined treatments are not enough to control blood sugar levels, there are two other treatments that your doctor can try.
If combined treatments are not effective, insulin can be prescribed to supplement the insulin your body already makes. It can be used on its own or in combination with the medicines listed above. It is administered via injections under the skin. The exact type and dose will vary from person to person, and will be prescribed according to your needs.
Think of these like an artificial sweetener. In the same way that an artificial sweetener tricks your tongue into thinking that it tastes sweet without the sugar, glucagon-like peptide-1 mimetics trick your body into thinking that they are glucagon. They stimulate insulin release, which breaks down glucose (sugar) and stops more glucagon being released (which causes glucose levels to rise).
Staying healthy with type 2 diabetes
Having a healthy lifestyle and eating well is very important to those with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, as it can help manage the disease. Follow these links for more information
Join in the conversation in our forums
Discuss diabetes and share your experiences with hundreds of people in our forums.Medication forums
Blogs and real life patient stories
- Obesity - yet another doomsday scenario
- Living well with type 2 diabetes
- Generation XXL - is this the doomsday health scenario
- Say no to hypos – who should?
- Diabetes - a ticking timebomb
- Walk off that turkey
Advanced topics on type 2 diabetes
These pages are aimed at medical professionals and you may find some of the language complex. However if you want more information on your condition, these articles are the best place to start