Forgetting to take your medicine can happen from time to time, but your medicine is key to managing your diabetes. If you find you’re forgetting, try putting it somewhere you’ll see it every day, or set a daily alarm. There are some good smartphone apps that can also help you to remember to take your medicine. Your pharmacist or doctor will have some ideas to help you stay on track too.
Are you a healthy weight? Use our body mass index (BMI) calculator to check. Losing weight doesn’t mean a crash diet – with a mixture of healthy eating and exercise, you can shed excess fat as well as keep your heart healthy. Check out our page on losing weight safely, and talk to your doctor or a dietitian for advice if you’re at all unsure.
Diabetes doesn’t have to mean cutting out your favourite foods – it's all about balance. What you eat affects your blood sugar. Carbohydrates in particular can make your blood sugar shoot up. So, keep an eye on what you eat and drink, and plan ahead. Carbohydrate counting and using a glycaemic index (GI) can be useful.
Exercise is especially important if you have diabetes. Lead an active lifestyle and exercise on a regular basis, ideally three or four times a week. It doesn’t have to be going to the gym or heading out for a run. Housework, gardening and walking the dog all count. Just be sure to pick up the pace so your heart is beating faster, you’re breathing harder and you feel warmer. Also, try to break up long periods spent sitting down. With so many ways to get active, why not get started today?
Smoking is, quite simply, bad for your health, whether you have diabetes or not. But if you do have diabetes, the health consequences of smoking can be even more severe. Quitting can be hard, but free help is at hand from your GP, pharmacist and local cessation group. Set yourself up for success by listing reasons to quit, choosing a stress-free time to stop and preparing well for the first few days. Check out our page on ways to stop smoking, as well as our cost of smoking calculator, for advice and motivation.
If you have diabetes, there’s a one-in-ten chance you’ll get foot problems linked to nerve damage. Diabetes can affect your nervous system so your feet can sometimes lose the sensation of feeling. Because of this, you may not notice a foot problem until it’s fully developed. Check your feet and toes (including between them) every day so you can spot any changes early. Also, make sure your shoes fit properly, and check for small stones or other debris in your shoes to reduce the risk of damage to your feet.
Do you own a smartphone? Why not download an app to help you manage your diabetes? Whether you want some help managing your diet or tracking your blood sugar levels, there are many apps available for you to try.
Finding out you have diabetes can stir up many emotions. Talking to others will help – whether it’s your GP, family, friends or other people with diabetes. Over time, you’ll feel more confident about managing your condition as you learn more.
Let people around you know if you’re at risk of having hypoglycaemic episodes (hypos) and what they can do to help if it does happen.
- Diabetes UK
0345 123 2399
- What’s your healthy weight? Diabetes UK. www.diabetes.org.uk, accessed 19 November 2015
- What can I eat? Type 2 diagnosis. Diabetes UK. www.diabetes.org.uk, accessed 19 November 2015
- Diabetes type 2. NICE Clinical Knowledge Summaries. www.cks.nice.org.uk, published October 2015
- Cardiovascular disease. Diabetes UK. www.diabetes.org.uk, accessed 19 November 2015
- Cramer JA. A systematic review of adherence with medications for diabetes. Diabetes Care 2004; 27:1218–24
- Forgetting to take your tablets. Diabetes.co.uk. www.diabetes.co.uk, accessed 19 November 2015
- Delamater AM. Improving patient adherence. Clinical Diabetes 2006; 24:71–77
- Glycaemic index and diabetes. Diabetes UK. www.diabetes.org.uk, accessed 19 November 2015
- Carbohydrates and diabetes. Diabetes UK. www.diabetes.org.uk, accessed 19 November 2015
- Physical activity guidelines for adults (19–64 years). Department of Health. www.gov.uk, published 2011
- Help with giving up smoking. Diabetes UK. www.diabetes.org.uk, accessed 19 November 2015
- Diabetic foot problems: prevention and management. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), August 2015. www.nice.org.uk
- The best diabetes iPhone and android apps of 2015. Healthline. www.healthline.com, published 29 July 2015
- Diabetes UK. Living with diabetes. www.diabetes.org.uk, accessed 19 November 2015
- Diabetes UK
We’d love to know what you think about what you’ve just been reading and looking at – we’ll use it to improve our information. If you’d like to give us some feedback, our short form below will take just a few minutes to complete. And if there's a question you want to ask that hasn't been answered here, please submit it to us. Although we can't respond to specific questions directly, we’ll aim to include the answer to it when we next review this topic.
Let us know what you think using our short feedback form
Reviewed by Alice Rossiter, Specialist Health Editor, Bupa Health Content Team, February 2016.
Peer reviewed by Dr Jonathan Katz, Consultant Endocrinologist.
About our health information
At Bupa we produce a wealth of free health information for you and your family. We believe that trustworthy information is essential in helping you make better decisions about your health and care. Here are just a few of the ways in which our core editorial principles have been recognised.
We are certified by the Information Standard. This quality mark identifies reliable, trustworthy producers and sources of health information.
What our readers say about us
But don't just take our word for it; here's some feedback from our readers.
“Simple and easy to use website - not alarming, just helpful.”
“It’s informative but not too detailed. I like that it’s factual and realistic about the conditions and the procedures involved. It’s also easy to navigate to areas that you specifically want without having to read all the information.”
“Good information, easy to find, trustworthy.”
Meet the team
Head of Health Content
- Dylan Merkett – Lead Editor
- Graham Pembrey - Lead Editor
- Laura Blanks – Specialist Editor, Quality
- Michelle Harrison – Specialist Editor, Insights
- Natalie Heaton – Specialist Editor, User Experience
- Fay Jeffery – Web Editor
- Marcella McEvoy – Specialist Editor, Content Portfolio
- Alice Rossiter – Specialist Editor (on Maternity Leave)
Our core principles
All our health content is produced in line with our core editorial principles – readable, reliable, relevant – which are represented by our diagram.
In a nutshell, our information is jargon-free, concise and accessible. We know our audience and we meet their health information needs, helping them to take the next step in their health and wellbeing journey.
We use the best quality and most up-to-date evidence to produce our information. Our process is transparent and validated by experts – both our users and medical specialists.
We know that our users want the right information at the right time, in the way that suits them. So we review our content at least every three years to keep it fresh. And we’re embracing new technology and social media so they can get it whenever and wherever they choose.
Here are just a few of the ways in which the quality of our information has been recognised.
The Information Standard certification scheme
You will see the Information Standard quality mark on our content. This is a certification programme, supported by NHS England, that was developed to ensure that public-facing health and care information is created to a set of best practice principles.
It uses only recognised evidence sources and presents the information in a clear and balanced way. The Information Standard quality mark is a quick and easy way for you to identify reliable and trustworthy producers and sources of information.
Certified by the Information Standard as a quality provider of health and social care information. Bupa shall hold responsibility for the accuracy of the information they publish and neither the Scheme Operator nor the Scheme Owner shall have any responsibility whatsoever for costs, losses or direct or indirect damages or costs arising from inaccuracy of information or omissions in information published on the website on behalf of Bupa.
British Medical Association (BMA) patient information awards
We have received a number of BMA awards for different assets over the years. Most recently, in 2013, we received a 'commended' award for our online shared decision making hub.
If you have any feedback on our health information, we would love to hear from you. Please contact us via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can write to us:
Health Content Team
Battle Bridge House
300 Grays Inn Road