Read aloud

Type 2 diabetes

If you or someone you know has type 2 diabetes, read this page to understand what it is and how to manage it.

I have been diagnosed with diabetes, what do I do now?

  1. Register with the NDSS.
  2. Your NDSS registration gives you access to subsidised products.
  3. Find out more about diabetes by accessing the free Type 2 diabetes and me online course. Learn how to self-manage your diabetes by attending support programs and information sessions.
  4. Read more in our information booklet (NDSS starter pack).
  5. Download our fact sheet Understanding type 2 diabetes.
  6. Read about living with diabetes and type 2 diabetes in children and young adults.
  7. Form a health care team who can help you set goals.
  8. Talk to your doctor about your health checks and annual cycle of care.
  9. Call the NDSS Helpline on 1800 637 700 for advice and to learn more about the NDSS.

What is type 2 diabetes?

In type 2 diabetes your pancreas makes some insulin but not as much as your body needs, or it does not work effectively, or a combination of both.

This leads to high blood glucose levels.

Type 2 diabetes results from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Genes play a significant role. Risk is greatly increased by lifestyle issues such as high blood pressure, being overweight, insufficient physical activity, a poor diet, and the classic ‘apple shape’ body where extra weight is carried around the waist.

Read more in our fact sheet Understanding type 2 diabetes.

Managing your type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes can often initially be managed with healthy eating and physical activity.

Over time most people will need to use diabetes tablets. Many also need to add non-insulin injectable medications or insulin. This is the natural progression of type 2 diabetes and taking tablets or insulin as soon as needed can result in less complications.

When you are diagnosed your doctor will provide you with information and ask you questions about your diet, and your medical and health history. They will also ask you about your family. If you are a parent, you may also be asked about the health of your children.

Your doctor might do a physical examination of your mouth, feet, eyes, abdomen, skin and thyroid gland, and possibly a cardiac (heart) work-up. You may also have blood tests, including a blood-lipid test for cholesterol. All of this is important for your overall care.

If you find that all the information is overwhelming, don’t worry. Your diabetes health care team can take you through your personal diabetes management plan, step by step. Make an appointment right away. Talk to your family, friends and others who may be living with diabetes.

Remember that diabetes is different for everybody. What suits someone else may not suit you. With diabetes, one size does not fit all.

If you’ve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, NDSS registration can give you the support services and subsidised products you need to manage your diabetes.

NDSS registration is free. For more information visit the registration section of this website.

Managing your health

Read more about self-managing your health and preventing health complications.

This includes information on:

  • eye damage
  • kidney health
  • foot health
  • depression
  • pregnancy.

Type 2 diabetes and me, an online course

To start learning now, click here to access the free online course Type 2 diabetes and me. This course will give you useful information about diabetes, how to help you live with diabetes, where to go for support and links to additional information. There are 10 short topics, including videos, and you can go through them in any order you choose.

How are you going with your diabetes health checks?

Regular checks can help reduce risks of serious diabetes-related complications like problems with your feet, eyes, heart and kidneys. Your health care team will let you know how often you need checks, so you can schedule them into your calendar.

The NDSS and you

A wide range of services and support is available through the NDSS to help you manage your diabetes. The services, education programs and subsidised products available, can help you stay on top of your diabetes. You can also call the NDSS Helpline on 1800 637 700.


This information is intended as a guide only. It should not replace individual medical advice. If you have any concerns about your health, or further questions, you should contact your health professional.