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Living with your diagnosis - what's next?

Once you are diagnosed, you can start taking steps to get your health under control and avoid serious complications. Take charge of the situation by learning as much as you can about the disease and its management.

What you do next will depend on what stage of type 2 diabetes you are in. In the early stages, or with prediabetes, you may be able to control your blood sugar with a healthier diet and more exercise. However, type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease, so most people will need to be prescribed medication at some point to keep their sugar levels in a healthy range1.

Your emotional health

Aside from managing the physical aspects of diabetes, it is also important to be aware of the effects of diabetes on your emotional health. 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 well-being and physical health are closely connected in diabetes, so it is vital that you take care of both2.

Emotional health and type 2 diabetes: what's the connection?

  • Depression/Anxiety It's normal to feel low occasionally, but persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness need to be addressed as they can prevent good diabetes self-care2
  • Stress Stress causes your blood sugar levels to rise as your body releases stored glucose supplies into your bloodstream in preparation for 'fight or flight'3
  • Sleep problems Poor sleeping habits and not getting enough sleep can also negatively impact your blood sugar levels2

Getting the support you need from your healthcare team, family and friends is a critical 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.

"It's our physical health, our mental health, our hypos, our hypers... These are the big things for diabetics"

-Ken Tait

Managing stress

Stress is extremely common when you have type 2 diabetes, but you can do something about it3. Meet Ken, who is living with type 2 diabetes. After making the connection between stress and his blood sugar numbers, Ken learned to reduce his stress levels in order to improve his blood sugar control and overall health.


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Type 2 Diabetes. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/type2.html. Last accessed: March 2024.
  2. American Diabetes Association Professional Practice Committee. 5. Facilitating Positive Health Behaviors and Well-being to Improve Health Outcomes: Standards of Care in Diabetes-2024 [published correction appears in Diabetes Care. 2024 Feb 05;:]. Diabetes Care. 2024;47(Suppl 1):S77-S110. doi:10.2337/dc24-S005
  3. Diabetes UK. Diabetes and stress. Available from: https://www.diabetes.co.uk/ diabetes-destress.html. Last accessed: March 2024.

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