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 glucose from foods like bread, potatoes, rice, pasta, milk and fruit. To use this glucose, your body needs insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps your body to control the level of glucose (sugar) in your blood.
The good news
You can live a long and healthy life by keeping your blood glucose (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 glucose (sugar) using a home blood glucose meter*
Aiming for 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 glucose (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 Canadian Diabetes Association branch about joining a peer-support group or taking part in an information session.