Type 2 diabetes
Often type 2 diabetes is diagnosed by accident when you see your GP about something else and they ask for a blood or urine test.
However, if you have any symptoms you should go and see your GP straight away.
Before your diagnosis
To find out if you have type 2 diabetes, you usually have to go through the following steps:
- Speak to your GP about your symptoms.
- If your GP thinks you might have diabetes they’ll check your urine and take some blood to check your blood sugar levels. It usually takes about 1 to 2 days for the results to come back.
- If the tests show that you have diabetes, your GP will ask you to come in again to explain what will happen next. You’ll most likely be also be put on medication straight away.
If you’re diagnosed with diabetes
If your blood test shows that you have diabetes, your GP will usually ask you to come in for another appointment.
What they’ll talk to you about in the appointment depends on the diagnosis and the treatment they’ll recommend.
Generally, they’ll talk to you about the following:
- what diabetes is
- what high blood sugar means for your health
- what medication you’ll have to take
- your diet and exercise
- your lifestyle, eg alcohol and smoking
Your GP will do their best to discuss the diagnosis to you but this first appointment might only be 10 to 15 minutes long.
If you have questions about your diagnosis
It’s usually difficult to take everything in the GP tells you during the appointment.
Talk to family and friends about what the GP told you and write down all the questions you have.
Then make another GP appointment and take your list of questions with you.
Dealing with confusion and shock after the diagnosis
There’s also a lot of information on diabetes available including how to find:
- support groups
- hospital courses about living with diabetes
- online forums and chat rooms where people with diabetes discuss how they manage their condition
What happens after the diagnosis
Usually the following things happen after your diagnosis:
- Your GP will prescribe medication. It might take some time for you to get used to the medication and to find the right amounts for you.
- You might need to make changes to your diet and start being active.
- You’ll have to watch your body for certain signs to avoid other health problems.
- You’ll have to go for regular type 2 diabetes check ups.