Type 2 diabetes is often diagnosed following blood or urine tests for something else.
You should see your GP straight away if you have any symptoms of diabetes.
To find out if you have type 2 diabetes, you will need to talk to your GP about your symptoms.
They will arrange a blood test to check your blood glucose (sugar) levels. It usually takes a few days for the results to come back.
The results of your test will show whether you have:
- no diabetes
- type 2 diabetes
- pre-diabetes - this is a stage before type 2 diabetes
If you have Type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes your GP will advise you on the best treatment options.
If you're diagnosed with diabetes
What your GP or practice nurse will discuss with you will depend on your diagnosis and if you have other existing medical conditions.
Usually, they'll talk to you about:
- what diabetes is
- what high blood glucose levels means for your health
- treatments recommended for you such as, diet, physical activity, weight loss if needed and medicines if needed
- your lifestyle, for example alcohol and smoking
- completing a free diabetes support course
- diabetic retinal screening - this a free eye check for people with diabetes
- looking after your feet to prevent diabetes related problems
- how to get free prescriptions for diabetes medicines and register for the Long-Term Illness (LTI) scheme
After your diagnosis
Usually after your diagnosis:
- you may need to change your diet, be more active and consider losing some excess weight if necessary
- your GP may prescribe medicine - it can take time to get used to the medicine and to find the right dose for you
- you'll have regular type 2 diabetes check-ups with your GP or practice nurse, at least twice a year
- you'll be told to look out for any new changes in your body and to tell your GP or practice nurse
If you have questions about your diagnosis
It can be difficult to take in everything your GP tells you during the appointment. Take notes and bring a family member or friend to your appointment if it helps you.
Talk to family and friends about what your GP told you and write down any questions you have. Bring your list of questions to your next appointment.