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Type 2 diabetes: the care you should expect

Type 2 diabetes: the care you should expect

Type 2 diabetes causes people to have too much sugar (glucose) in their blood. It is caused when the body cannot use a hormone called insulin as well as it should.

Type 2 diabetes puts people at risk of long-term problems with their eyes, feet, heart, kidneys and nerves. It is a lifelong condition that can affect everyday life. People with type 2 diabetes:

  • may need to change their diet and make other lifestyle changes

  • usually need to take medicines to control their blood sugar

  • will need to get regular checkups.

We want this guideline to make a difference to people with type 2 diabetes by making sure:

  • they get personalised advice on healthy eating from experts (such as dietitians)

  • healthcare professionals involve them in agreeing an average blood sugar target (called a HbA1c level) – the target is normally 48 mmol/mol (or 6.5%), but for some people a different target can be better

  • their care team discuss the different diabetes medicines with them, so they can jointly agree which to take (some people will need to take more than one medicine)

  • they can get a type of medicine called an SGLT2 inhibitor if they have cardiovascular disease or problems with their kidneys

  • people who are taking insulin can get a flash monitoring system if it would help them manage their diabetes – for example if they are having lots of hypos, or their hypos are severe (a hypo is when blood sugar is too low, and it can cause dizziness and fainting)

  • they are encouraged to see a dentist regularly, to get checked for gum disease.

Making decisions together

Decisions about treatment and care are best when they are made together. Your [health and care] professionals should give you clear information, talk with you about your options and listen carefully to your views and concerns.

To help you make decisions, think about:

  • What matters most to you – what do you want to get out of any treatment or care?

  • What are you most worried about – are there risks or downsides to the treatment that worry you more than others?

  • How will the treatment affect your day to day life?

  • What happens if you don't want to have treatment?

If you need more support to understand the information you are given, tell your healthcare professional.

Read more about making decisions about your care.

  • Information Standard