If you have type 2 diabetes, you can
expect to continue living an active and independent life – as long as
you manage the disease well. You will need to learn to control your
blood glucose levels, make some changes to your lifestyle, and plan
for certain occasions and activities. But the way you manage diabetes,
and the changes you make, will be individual to you. The key to
success is to make sure that diabetes management fits into your life –
not the other way around.
In this section you’ll find tips and support to help you incorporate good diabetes management into your daily life.
A healthy diet and regular exercise should be essential parts of your type 2 diabetes care. Eating well and staying active can help you keep your blood glucose on target, lose weight, and improve your overall health and emotional wellbeing.
Meet Gerald. Since being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, he has realised that managing the disease properly and making a few lifestyle changes is not such big price to pay for staying healthy, active and happy.
Watch Gerald's story
Monitoring your blood glucose levels can help you keep track of how
well you are controlling your diabetes. Blood glucose checks can be
done anywhere. You prick your finger with a small needle and test a
drop of blood using a device called a glucometer.
You may not need to monitor your blood glucose in the early stages of type 2 diabetes, but your healthcare professional may recommend that you do when you start on insulin or other medication that may cause you to have low blood glucose.
Your healthcare professional will tell you when and how often you need to check your blood glucose. The following terms are used to describe glucose measurements taken at different times of day:
Fasting: checking in the morning before breakfast, when your blood glucose is lowest
Pre-meal: checking right before a meal to see how much your levels change when you eat
Post-meal: checking two hours after a meal when your blood glucose is peaking
Checking your blood glucose gives you a snapshot of your levels at a particular moment. Recording these measurements will show you your progress over time.
Accurately recording your blood glucose – as well as what you eat, when you exercise, and emotional factors like stress – will identify the causes of unusual peaks and dips. This will help you to improve your diabetes management and avoid long-term health complications.
There are many tools available to help you record your measurements, including diaries and smartphone apps. Talk to your healthcare professional about which is right for you.
Tackling type 2 diabetes head-on can be stressful and overwhelming, and ignoring these negative feelings can make the physical and emotional problems worse. Emotional wellbeing and physical health are closely connected in diabetes1, so it is vital that you take care of both.
Getting the support you need from your healthcare team, family and friends is an extremely important part of managing your diabetes. Remember, reaching out for help is not a sign of weakness, but a sign that you are proactively taking control of type 2 diabetes.
Meet Dolores, who is living with type 2 diabetes. Having made the connection between emotional issues and her glucose numbers, Dolores learned to reduce her stress levels in order to improve her blood glucose control and overall health.
Watch Dolores' story about beating stress
Type 2 diabetes should not affect your
working life, but it can present some challenges that you will need to
prepare for. Whether you are starting a new job, or returning to work
after a type 2 diagnosis, the tips below can help to make your working
If you love to travel, type 2 diabetes shouldn't hold you back. A little extra preparation is all you need to make your trip go smoothly.
Caring for someone with type 2 diabetes can be challenging. Because the disease starts in adulthood, individuals may find it hard to adjust to needing help, or to make changes to their lifestyle. It’s important you identify the best way you can support them while taking care of yourself in the process.
Creating a care plan together with the person you support is a good place to start. You can write it together, with help from their healthcare professional if needed, to ensure you cover all the essentials. Your care plan could include:
DISEASE EXPERIENCE EXPERT PANELS
At Novo Nordisk, we consider people living with serious chronic diseases to be experts in their own right. That's why we invite them to become members of our Disease Experience Expert Panels (DEEPs). DEEP members are able to provide disease-specific insights and advice based on real-world experiences. This input guides us as we work to develop better treatments and meaningful support for people living with chronic diseases worldwide.
Type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease, so you will probably adjust the way you manage it as you get older. There is a broad range of treatment options available to help you keep your blood glucose under control, including lifestyle changes, oral medications and insulin therapy.
Having type 2 diabetes increases your risk of developing cardiovascular problems, including heart attack and stroke. This is why it's important to take care of your heart health and type 2 diabetes together. Learn about the steps you can take to get in control of both.
1Ducat L, Rubenstein A, Philipson LH, Anderson BJ. A Review
of the Mental Health Issues of Diabetes Conference. Diabetes Care
2Spiegel K, Leproult R, Van Cauter E. Impact of sleep debt on metabolic and endocrine function. The Lancet 1999; 354(9188):1435–1439