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Managing your type 2 diabetes

“Because my brother was diabetic, I actually knew quite a bit when diagnosed. In some respects, I wish I had listened more when I was diagnosed—I thought I knew everything I needed. I didn’t realise that being high for extended periods could be dangerous in the short-term—I thought it would only impact in a years’ time.” (Anonymous)

Every person with type 2 diabetes will have their own individual treatment and management program. It’s important for you to know your diabetes—how you feel after a big night out or when you are stressed at school or work. You also need to recognise the symptoms of something not being right. Learn to trust your instincts with your diabetes.

If you feel that your treatment is not working, go and speak to your doctor or diabetes educator. There may be a different way of treating it.

Managing your diabetes

My biggest surprise? “When I first got diabetes, I didn’t know that you had to take care of your feet.” (Anonymous)

Type 2 diabetes is managed through changing your lifestyle which includes a healthy diet and staying active. Over time many people with type 2 diabetes may need tablets to manage their blood glucose levels. These tablets are intended to be used in addition to healthy eating and regular physical activity, not as a substitute.

Eventually, most people with type 2 diabetes need to start taking insulin to control blood glucose levels, when your body is no longer producing enough insulin of its own. Sometimes tablets may be continued in addition to insulin.

An aim of diabetes management is to keep blood glucose levels (BGLs) within a specified target range—between 4 to 6 mmol/L (fasting)—as this will help prevent both short-term and long-term complications.

You’ll need to manage your diabetes and manage your daily life. Try to develop a routine. Get to know your body and how you react to such things as:

  • late nights
  • physical activity
  • stress
  • alcohol

Eating well is an important part of managing your diabetes. There are certain foods that are going to be better for you and your diabetes than others.

Exercising is also an important part of managing your diabetes.

Try not to ignore your diabetes, you can still do the same things as your friends as long as you take care of your diabetes.

Read more about managing diabetes.

Diabetes Australia acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of this Country. We recognise their connection to land, waters, winds and culture. We pay the upmost respect to them, their cultures and to their Elders, past and present. We are committed to improving health outcomes for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people affected by diabetes and those at risk.

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