Lifestyle Changes


Depression can have a serious impact on a person’s well-being and their ability and motivation to self-manage their condition. Depression is the most common psychiatric disorder witnessed in people with diabetes. Diabetics suffering from depression are at a greater risk of suffering from an episode of diabetic burnout. This can have adverse effects on physical health and potentially cause more long-term complications.


Diabetes can also affect your eyes, so you should plan regular visits to get your eyes tested. High blood sugar levels can lead to blurry vision, cataracts, glaucoma and retinopathy.

Heart & Blood

Over time, high blood glucose from diabetes can damage your blood vessels and the nerves that control your heart and blood vessels. Diabetes increases the risk of heart attacks by 48%. Diabetes damages the arteries causing them to harden, this is called atherosclerosis. This can cause high blood pressure, which if not treated, can lead to blood vessel damage, heart attack, and kidney failure.


Over time, diabetes may cause nerve damage, also called diabetic neuropathy, that can cause tingling and pain. This can make you lose feeling in your feet. Gangrene and foot ulcers that do not get better with treatment can lead to an amputation of your toe, foot or part of your leg. Therefore, it is especially important to take good care of your feet.


There are extra rules for people with diabetes who want to drive. DO NOT drive if your blood sugar/glucose is less than 4mmol/L or if your blood sugar has been under 4 mmol/L within the last 45 minutes. You MUST test your blood sugar levels within 2 hours of each journey. You can also be fined up to £1000 if you don’t tell the DVLA that you have diabetes. However, if you control your diabetes by diet or insulin, you do not need to notify the DVLA. Changes in blood sugar can affect your VISION.

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Taking Control


Doctors may recommend tablets to lower cholesterol in patients with type 2 diabetes, as this might lower their chances of complications such as heart attacks or strokes. Physical activity and food choices can also help to lessen the ‘bad’ cholesterol and raise the ‘good’ cholesterol.


Alcohol is high in calories so cutting down can help you lose weight. Drinking alcohol can also increase your blood pressure and cholesterol, which will increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. The guidelines recommend no more than 3 to 4 units a day for men and 2 to 3 a day for women. 1 pub measure is the equivalent of 25ml of vodka, gin or whisky, 100ml wine, half pint lager, beer or cider.


Smoking damages your blood vessels and increases your chances of a heart attack, strokes, and problems with the blood supply to your legs. Smoking and diabetes combined, drastically increase your risk of these by 4-9 times. It is important to keep trying to quit. Help is available through your doctor and local groups: Quit smoking action plan 1. Set a date, 2. Destroy all smoking material & 3. Get nicotine replacement patches. For support, contact the NHS free Smoking Helpline: 0800 0224332 or visit the website at


Food is an easy, vital ingredient to control your diabetes. If managed well, this can greatly benefit you, without the help of external enhancers. This is the Governments recommendation for foods and portion sizes, The National Eatwell Guide:

Try to eat:


You don’t need to be a professional athlete – or even a fitness bunny – to partake in a little regular light exercise. In fact, research shows that the “little and often” approach is far better than sweating it out for hours in a gym. Any increase on what you do now will be of benefit. You can choose any activity that you enjoy doing regularly. It could be gardening, walking, swimming, dancing or yoga. Want to get back into fitness? Why not use our fitness videos to help ease you in gently? These are a perfect resource to help you stay active, workout safely, keep fit and stay healthy.