Type 2

Newly Diagnosed

Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes.

There’s a strong support network and an established procedure to help you manage it.

  • Step 1: Register with the NDSS
  • Step 2: Become a Member of Diabetes SA
  • Step 3: Learn about diabetes and how to manage it
  • Step 4: Create a support network
  • Step 5: Set yourself some goals

85 to 90% of all cases of diabetes are type 2.

It can be managed by regular physical activity and healthy eating.

Type 2 diabetes develops mostly in adults, but children can also be affected.

It occurs when the beta cells in the pancreas still function and produce insulin, but this insulin is not working effectively. (This is often called insulin resistance.)

Another issue is when insufficient amounts of insulin are produced. (This is often called beta cell dysfunction.)

The overall effect is a rise in blood glucose levels.

People with type 2 diabetes may present with symptoms such as increased thirst, urination and tiredness, and sometimes infections and slow healing of wounds.

Many people with type 2 diabetes have no symptoms at all or the symptoms may go unnoticed.

Because of this type 2 diabetes is often diagnosed with other medical conditions or investigations.

How is type 2 diabetes diagnosed?

Diabetes is diagnosed by a blood test. The test may be either a fasting test (no food or fluid except water for eight hours, for example overnight) a random test taken anytime during the day, or an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT).

Diabetes is diagnosed when:

  • Symptoms are present and a fasting blood test result is at or above 7.0mmol/L or a random blood test result is at or above 11.1mmol/L
  • Haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c)blood test result is at or above 6.5% (48 mmol/mol)
  • There have been no symptoms and two abnormal blood glucose tests (as above) on separate days.

Type 2 diabetes results from a combination of family history (genetic) and environmental factors.

Although there is a strong connection to family history, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes is increased if you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, carry extra weight, and/or undertake insufficient physical activity.

How can I manage my type 2 diabetes?

Your diabetes can be managed with healthy eating and regular physical activity.

Your doctor and health care team will monitor your diabetes. Often losing weight and improving your fitness delays the progression of diabetes.

If healthy eating and exercise don’t maintain your blood glucose levels in the target range set by your doctor, you may be prescribed medication (tablets and possibly insulin) that lowers your blood glucose levels.  

Why do I need to manage my diabetes?

It is vitally important to manage your blood glucose levels within a certain range (typically between 3.5 and 8mmol/L).

If your blood glucose levels remain high for long periods of time you are at risk of developing diabetes complications, such as heart attack, kidney damage, stroke and blindness.

Managing your diabetes well helps reduce the risk of developing complications.

Just diagnosed? Here’s how we can help.

We’re here to give you all the support you need.

Talk to one of our health professionals by calling 1300 198 204.

Arrange a face-to-face consultation by calling 1300 198 204.

Become a member of Diabetes SA.

Explore our resources available for download or call us for a hard copy.