What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic (long-lasting) health condition that affects how your body turns food into energy. Most of the food you eat is broken down into sugar (also called glucose) and released into your bloodstream. When your blood sugar goes up, it signals your pancreas to release insulin. Diabetes occurs when the pancreas is no longer able to make insulin, or when the body cannot make good use of the insulin it produces.

What are the 2 main types of diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes – is where the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin

Type 2 diabetes – is where the body does not produce enough insulin or the body’s cells do not react to insulin

Type 2 diabetes is far more common and, in the UK, around 90% of adults diagnosed with diabetes have type 2.

What are the main symptoms of diabetes?

The most common symptoms of diabetes are:

Feeling very thirsty
Urinating more often, particularly at night
Feeling very tired
Weight loss and loss of muscle bulk
Cuts or wounds that heal slowly
Blurred vision
Tingling, pain or numbness in the hands/feet

How to manage your diabetes?

Keeping your blood sugar levels within the range recommended by your doctor can be challenging. This is because many things make your blood sugar levels change, sometimes unexpectedly. Here are some factors that can affect your blood sugar levels.


Healthy eating is important, and you need to know how foods affect your blood sugar levels. It is not just about the food you eat but also how much you eat and the combinations of food types you eat.

You need to ensure that you:
· Learn about potion sizes
· Make every meal well balanced
· Avoid sugar-sweetened drinks
· Coordinate your meals and medication


Physical activity is an important part of your diabetes management plan. When you exercise, your muscles use sugar for energy and regular activity helps your body use insulin more efficiently.
Even light activities like housework, gardening and a gentle walk can improve your blood sugar.
How to exercise safely:
· Talk to your doctor about an exercise plan
· Keep an exercise schedule
· Check your blood sugar level before, during and after 
· Stay hydrated
· Be prepared by taking a snack or glucose tablets just in case your blood sugar levels drop too low


Insulin and other diabetes medications are designed to lower your blood sugar levels when diet and exercise alone are not sufficient for managing diabetes.


When you are stressed the hormones, your body produces in response to prolonged stress may cause a rise in your blood sugar level.  It may be harder to closely follow your usual diabetes management routine if you are under a lot of extra pressure.
To help manage your blood sugar levels when you are stressed you can:
· Look for patterns – log your stress level on a scale of 1 to 10 and then log your blood sugar level and you should be able to identify a pattern
· Take control – once you know how stress affects your body sugar levels you can then start to take control. Look at learning relaxing techniques and start to avoid common stressors
· Get help – learn new strategies for coping with stress

For more information and support about diabetes please visit Diabetes UK website: