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DIABETES PATIENT RESOURCES

If you have type 2 diabetes – whether you’ve had the condition for a long time or just recently diagnosed – it's important that you look after your physical and mental health and well-being. Staying fit and healthy and managing your blood glucose levels will make treating your diabetes easier and reduce your risk of developing future complications. This section tells you a little bit about type 2 diabetes and provides some top tips to staying fit and well.

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About Type 2 Diabetes

Insulin is a hormone the body produces to help to control blood sugar (glucose) levels by instructing the cells (e.g. in the muscles and liver) to absorb glucose from the blood and use it for energy.1

In type 2 diabetes, the body produces less insulin and the body doesn’t respond properly to the insulin that is produced. This causes glucose to build up in the blood. This can lead to serious medical conditions such as heart disease, kidney disease, blindness and amputation.2

Although type 2 diabetes is a life-long condition, medicines and lifestyle changes can help to keep blood glucose under control and reduce the risk of these serious complications.

Type 1 diabetes is a different condition, where the pancreas – which usually produces insulin – doesn’t produce any insulin.3

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Diabetes Top Tips

You can do some simple things that can really make a difference and reduce your risk of developing complications.

Healthy eating
Healthy eating

Eating a balanced diet can help you maintain a healthy weight and can help keep your blood glucose at the right level

Exercise
Exercise

Regular exercise is crucial as it can help to keep your blood glucose at healthy levels

Stop smoking
Stop smoking

Stop smoking to reduce the risk of developing heart disease

Limit your alcohol
Limit your alcohol

Alcohol can affect your blood glucose. Avoid drinking more than the recommended daily amount and don’t drink on an empty stomach

Keeping well
Keeping well

Ensure you attend any check up appointments with your GP or diabetes nurse; you should also ask your GP about the winter flu jab

Check your feet regularly
Check your feet regularly

Diabetes can affect the blood circulation and nerves in your feet and make it more difficult for you to notice problems. See below for more information

Kidney Disease
Kidney Disease

High blood sugars and high blood pressure damage the blood vessels in the kidneys and problems with kidneys can go unnoticed. That’s why it’s so important you have your yearly kidney check – so your healthcare team can spot any changes in time to treat them. You can keep your kidneys healthy by following your other essential healthcare checks, like knowing your HbA1c level, keeping your blood pressure in check and knowing your cholesterol

Have regular eye tests
Have regular eye tests

Too much glucose in the blood can cause damage to the retina at the back of the eye; regular eye tests can help spot symptoms early and monitor any damage

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Looking After Your Feet WHEN YOU HAVE DIABETES

Diabetes can gradually damage the nerves and blood vessels supplying your feet, often without you noticing. This guide aims to help you look after your feet when you have diabetes.

Download the footcare leaflet

June James

June James explains why foot care matters – videos

Associate Professor – University of Leicester
Nurse Consultant – University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust
Co-chair TREND-UK

Why are people with diabetes more at risk of foot problems?

Watch video

How can people with diabetes reduce the risk of foot complications and why is foot care so important in people with diabetes?

Watch video

How should people with diabetes look after their feet and what should they avoid?

Watch video

When should a person with diabetes seek medical advice for their feet?

Watch video

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WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU ARE ILL

Everyone has days when they are not well. If you have diabetes, being unwell can affect your blood glucose control so it is important you know how to manage this. This guide aims to help manage your diabetes when you are ill.

Download the illness leaflet

Jill Hill offers advice on the ‘sick day rules’ – videos

Jill Hill offers advice on the ‘sick day rules’ – videos

Independent Diabetes Nurse Consultant
Co-chair TREND-UK

Why is it important for a person with diabetes to understand how to manage their diabetes when they are ill?

Watch video

How can being ill affect a person with diabetes blood glucose?

Watch video

How should a patient look after themselves when they are ill? Should they adapt their diet?

Watch video

When should a person with diabetes seek medical help?

Watch video

References

  1. Diabetes.co.uk: https://www.diabetes.co.uk/body/insulin.html [Accessed March 2020]
  2. NHS UK Type 2 Diabetes: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/type-2-diabetes/ [Accessed March 2020]
  3. NHS UK Type 1 diabetes https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/type-1-diabetes/ [Accessed March 2020]

UK/CORP-19018(1)
Date of preparation: March 2020