Type 2 diabetes is often diagnosed following blood or urine tests for something else.
However, you should see your GP straight away if you have any symptoms of diabetes.
To find out if you have type 2 diabetes, you usually have to go through the following steps:
- See your GP about your symptoms.
- Your GP will check your urine and arrange a blood test to check your blood sugar levels. It usually takes about 1 to 2 days for the results to come back.
- If you have diabetes, your GP will ask you to come in again so they can explain the test results and what will happen next.
If you're diagnosed with diabetes
What your GP will discuss with you during your appointment depends on the diagnosis and the treatment they recommend.
Generally, they'll talk to you about:
- what diabetes is
- what high blood sugar means for your health
- what medicine you'll have to take
- your diet and exercise
- your lifestyle – for example, alcohol and smoking
Your GP will do their best to discuss the diagnosis with you, but this first appointment might only be 10 to 15 minutes.
If you have questions about your diagnosis
It's usually difficult to take in everything the GP tells you during the appointment.
Talk to family and friends about what the GP told you, and write down any questions you have.
Then make another GP appointment and take your list of questions with you.
There's also a lot of information on diabetes available.
What happens after the diagnosis
Usually, the following things happen after your diagnosis:
- Your GP will prescribe medicine. It might take time for you to get used to the medicine and to find the right doses for you.
- You might need to make changes to your diet and be more active.
- You'll have to go for regular type 2 diabetes check-ups.
- You'll have to look out for certain signs to avoid other health problems.
- Ask your GP about a free education course for type 2 diabetes.
Page last reviewed: 8 August 2017
Next review due: 8 August 2020