Type 2 diabetes is a disease in which your pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or your body does not properly use the insulin it makes. As a result, glucose (sugar) builds up in your blood instead of being used for energy.

Your body gets sugar from foods like bread, potatoes, rice, pasta, milk and fruit. To use this sugar, your body needs insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps your body to control the level of sugar in your blood.

The good news

You can live a long and healthy life by keeping your blood sugar levels in the target range set by you and your health-care provider. You can do this by:

  • Eating healthy meals and snacks
  • Enjoying regular physical activity
  • Monitoring your blood sugar using a home blood glucose meter*
  • Aiming for and staying at a healthy body weight
  • Taking diabetes medications including insulin and other medications, if prescribed by your doctor
  • Managing stress effectively

* Discuss with your health-care provider how often you should measure your blood sugar level.

Who can help you?

Your health-care team is there to help you. Depending on your needs and the resources available in your community, your team may include a family doctor, diabetes educator (nurse and/or dietitian), endocrinologist, pharmacist, social worker, exercise physiologist, psychologist, foot-care specialist, eye-care specialist. They can answer your questions about how to manage diabetes and work with you to adjust your food plan, activity and medications.

Remember, you are the most important member of your health-care team.

Get the support you need

A positive and realistic attitude towards your diabetes can help you manage it. Talk to others who have diabetes. Ask your local Diabetes Canada branch about joining a peer-support group or taking part in an information session.

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