There are many resources available to help you find out more about your diabetes. Ask your healthcare professional if you need more information or have further questions.
Many people with diabetes can experience one or more symptoms, including extreme thirst or hunger, a frequent need to urinate and/or fatigue. Some lose weight without trying. Additional signs include sores that heal slowly, dry and itchy skin, loss of feeling or tingling in the hands or feet and blurry eyesight. Some people with diabetes, however, have no symptoms at all.1,2
The development of type 1 diabetes is usually sudden, while the symptoms can often be mild or nearly silent in people with type 2 diabetes.2
Type 1 diabetes can develop at any age, but usually appears before the age of 40, and especially in childhood.3 Type 2 diabetes usually appears in people over 40 although it’s increasingly becoming more common in children, adolescents and young adults of all ethnicities.3
Type 2 diabetes is often hard to detect – 1 in 2 people with diabetes do not know they have it.2
Diabetes can be a very serious disease – people with diabetes have an increased risk of developing a number of health problems. Over time, if it's not well managed, high blood sugar can cause serious damage to the eyes, gums, teeth, kidneys, nerves, and heart. If you have diabetes you have a higher risk of having a stroke or a heart attack at an earlier age than others.1,2
The best way to protect you from diabetic complications is to manage your blood glucose, blood pressure, body weight and cholesterol. It is not always easy but people who make an ongoing effort to manage their diabetes can greatly improve their overall health.1,2
Many patients with type 2 diabetes can control blood glucose with diet and exercise for a prolonged time. Others require oral medications or insulin and some people may take both, along with lifestyle modifications.
Take control. Your overall health can be greatly improved if you manage your diabetes every day:1
You may feel frustrated and low with your efforts to manage your blood sugar. You're not alone. Highs and lows can affect your mood and how you feel. If you're feeling low or frustrated with the management of your diabetes then speak to your healthcare professional, as there are ways of helping you to manage this.
If you’re doing your best to manage your diabetes by watching your diet, exercising and taking your medications but are experiencing high blood sugar (hyperglycemia), it should be taken seriously. There are many reasons why your blood sugar reading may be high.3
Or there may be no specific reason. The longer you wait the more you risk getting symptoms such as increased thirst, frequent urination, blurred vision and headaches, along with more damageable long-term complications. That’s why you should talk to your healthcare professional as soon as possible.
There are many reasons why your blood sugar reading may be too low.3
Treating low blood sugar is usually very simple. You should take some fast-acting carbohydrate, for example a sugary drink or some sweets/glucose tablets, followed by some longer-acting carbohydrate, such as a piece of bread or biscuits. It is a good idea to always carry some suitable foods around with you in case you get a hypo (typically feeling wobbly or confused, getting tingly lips or blurred eyesight). This might also help you to worry less.
If you have frequent low blood sugars talk to your healthcare professional and this is worrying you, then you should talk to your healthcare professional, to look at your options, your healthcare professional may be able to recommend adjustments that can help.
Lows often occur at night, but you might not notice unless you’re woken up by having a hypo. Symptoms of night-time hypos include: waking up and feeling very tired or sweating, possibly with a headache or hangover-like symptoms. Your blood sugar may also be higher than expected when you test it on waking. If you think that you are having night-time lows, then it is worth waking in the night occasionally to test your blood sugar – most night-time lows occur between about 2am and 3am, when blood sugar falls to its lowest level.3
If you have frequent night-time hypos, then you should talk to your healthcare professional to look at your options, your healthcare professional may be able to recommend adjustments that can help.
If you’re experiencing frequent changes in your blood sugar that are outside of the range you want, take control. Many factors can affect blood sugar levels, such as diet, physical activity and your medications, including insulins. There are also factors beyond your control such as illnesses, stress and changes in your daily routine. Fluctuations don’t necessarily mean you aren’t trying hard enough.Talk to your healthcare professional. Our diabetes checklist can help you work with your healthcare professional to find options that are right for you.
Complete the checklist for a better discussion with your healthcare professional