If you’ve just been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you might have a lot of questions. It’s a serious condition. What does this mean for you and your family?

Luckily, there are steps you can take to live well while managing this condition.

Diabetes Canada offers this starting point:

  • Take stock of your situation.
  • Learn about ways to improve your condition.
  • Agree with your doctor on what to do.
  • Set goals.
  • Follow up regularly with your medical team.

Taking stock: what is type 2 diabetes?

If you have type 2 diabetes, you’re not alone. It affects millions of people worldwide, and accounts for 90% of all diabetes cases.

According to Diabetes Québec:

“Some people with type 2 diabetes have pancreatic cells that do not produce enough insulin. In others, the insulin they produce does not do its job properly, creating what is known as insulin resistance.

“In both cases, the result is an increase in blood glucose (sugar) levels, since the body is not able to effectively use the glucose as an energy source.”

Diabetes doesn’t go away on its own. Unchecked, it can also result in:

  • heart disease,
  • kidney problems,
  • vision loss,
  • and serious nerve damage.

But there’s hope.

With the support of your medical team, you can learn to successfully manage this condition. In some cases, it can even go into remission.

How to manage your diabetes

The first step? Follow your doctor’s recommendations.

Plus, there are some general guidelines:

Certain lifestyle changes can also improve your situation, no matter your condition:

As well as your doctor, you might work with a team of health professionals.

A diabetes care team can include endocrinologists, pharmacists, dieticians, foot specialists, ophthalmologists, and psychologists. (Sun Life also offers tailored support via the Diabetes Care Program.)

But, by far – the most important person on your care team is you.

Why? Because your approach can prevent or delay diabetes-related complications. And that can greatly improve your life.

This article is meant to provide general information only. It’s not professional medical advice, or a substitute for professional healthcare advice.