Type 2 diabetes

Health problems

You need to watch your health and have regular check-ups if you have diabetes because high blood sugar can cause other problems and lead to:

Controlling your blood sugar level and having regular diabetes check-ups is the best way to lower your risk of complications.

Getting your heart checked

You should have your blood fats (cholesterol) and blood pressure checked at least once a year. This is part of your annual diabetes review. Diabetes increases your risk of developing heart disease and stroke so it’s important high blood pressure and high cholesterol is spotted and treated early.

Book your annual diabetes review

If you’re already being treated for high cholesterol and high blood pressure, it’s important you keep taking your medication.

Diabetes also worsens the effects of smoking on your heart. Get help to quit smoking.

Loss of feeling

You should let your GP or diabetes nurse know if you notice any changes in your body.

Diabetes can damage your nerves (neuropathy). This can affect any part of your body, causing:

Early treatment and good blood sugar control can prevent nerve damage getting worse.

Looking after your feet

Because of your diabetes, you should check your feet every day.

Diabetes can reduce the blood supply to your feet and cause a loss of feeling. This means:

Simple things are important, like:

Speak to your GP or care team if you notice any changes in your feet, including:

Diabetes UK has advice on how to check your feet

Your feet should also be checked every year by a foot specialist (podiatrist) or at your annual diabetes review.

Book your diabetes foot check

Sores or infections that aren’t treated early can lead to gangrene. More than 135 amputations are carried out every week in the UK due to diabetes.

Checking your eyes

Your eyes should be checked every year for damaged blood vessels, which can cause sight problems (diabetic retinopathy) and blindness.

Diabetes eye checks can detect damage before it affects your sight. Treating damaged blood vessels early can prevent sight problems.

Book your diabetes eye check

Speak to your GP immediately if you notice changes to your sight, including:

Pregnancy and diabetes

Speak to your GP or care team if you’re thinking of having a baby.

You can have a safe pregnancy and birth if you have type 2 diabetes, but you will need to take extra precautions and have more appointments before and during pregnancy.