What is it?
Diabetes develops if the body can’t make enough insulin. After you eat, your body breaks down food into glucose (a type of sugar). Insulin is a hormone that helps your body absorb sugar from the blood. If you have type 2 diabetes, the glucose in your blood can’t convert to energy. As a result, you have too much sugar in your blood. Type 2 diabetes can’t be ‘cured’. But, you can manage your condition with a healthy lifestyle. Some people may need medicine as well.
What will my GP do now?
Your GP will work with you to develop a treatment plan. Your GP will also help you to:
- Learn more about your condition
- Complete your National Diabetes Service Scheme (NDSS) registration
- Develop targets for your blood sugar levels
- Learn about healthy lifestyle changes
- Learn about low blood sugar and how to prevent or manage this
What will my GP do in the future?
Your GP will see you regularly to check your health. It’s important you’re able to manage your type 2 diabetes properly.
Every 3-6 months, your GP will check your medicine, weight, height, and blood pressure. You should tell your GP if you have noticed any new symptoms.
Every year, your GP will also check your heart health and may ask you to have some specific tests. Type 2 diabetes can cause problems for your heart, kidneys, eyes and feet. Your GP will check for any risks in these areas. If you are at risk, you may need to see a specialist.
Lifestyle changes to make
If you smoke, it’s time to quit – your GP will help you get started
healthy diet is about controlling your weight as well as eating well
Aim for least 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day
When should I call my GP?
See your GP as soon as you can if you notice any of these signs or symptoms:
- Trouble seeing
- Loss of feeling in your feet
- Pain in your feet
- A change of colour in your feet
- Corns or ulcers
- Trouble keeping up with your blood sugar targets
What can I do?
Type 2 diabetes is not reversible but eating a healthy diet and losing weight can help normalise your blood sugar levels. Keep visiting your GP as often as you need. If you need to see a specialist, make sure you keep all your appointments. People with type 2 diabetes have a high risk of heart disease. Be sure to have your blood pressure checked regularly. Speak to your GP about booking in regular heart health checks.
Other steps to take:
- Take any medicine exactly as instructed and attend all checkups
- Book in with your GP to discuss your progress and track your blood sugar
- Consider speaking to a diabetes educator – see supports below
What questions should I ask my doctor?
Why isn’t my diabetes curable?
What happens if I don’t follow my treatment plan?
How does my diet need to change?
How much exercise do I need to do?
What are the heart health risks?
Where can I get help quitting smoking?
How can I check my blood sugar levels?
How often do I need to see you?
Where can I get more support?
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Important: This information is to be viewed by someone who has received a diagnosis from their doctor. It is not designed to be used to diagnose a condition or as a substitute for ongoing medical care.
Health Resource Directory factsheets are endorsed by South Western Sydney PHN’s Community Advisory Committee and local GPs
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