Hello, I’m Norman Swan. Diabetes, type 2 diabetes, is really common in our community, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve been especially tuned into this, because people with diabetes have a higher chance of becoming very sick on COVID-19.

The key when you’ve got type 2 diabetes, and I’m talking to people who’ve already got it, is to get it under control.

Lifestyle adjustments for diabetes

The first thing is exercise, weight loss, diet, trying to actually do that and having the target clear with your doctor so that you’re aiming for a clear target in terms of what’s called your HbA1c, that’s your 3-month average of what your blood sugar’s doing. And if you can do that and really get it under control, you will minimise the complications of type 2 diabetes and actually be in really good shape moving forward. So it’s not something to be terrified of. It’s something to actually look after quite well.

Medications to help control type 2 diabetes

And there are more and more medications coming onto the market which allow you to control your diabetes well, and some of them actually have the side effect of losing weight and actually preventing cancer. So there are some very good medications on the market now for type 2 diabetes. The key is to get it under control and keep it under control, whether it’s by lifestyle or lifestyle plus simple medications.

Dr Norman Swan, Physician and Journalist

Last Reviewed: 08/10/2020

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