Diabetes is a condition that affects our body's ability to process and store sugar correctly. It can be well managed by treatments that keep blood sugar levels normal, preventing any damage to the body.
- Complete a short medical questionnaire
- Highlight a preferred treatment
- Doctor reviews your answers and notes your preferred treatment
Important: If your preferred treatment is not clinically suitable, your doctor will offer an alternative or advise you on what to do next.
Diabetes treatments available
About type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a health condition related to how your body deals with sugar. Sugar is broken down in the stomach and enters the blood. A hormone, insulin, is produced to store any extra sugar for later on.
Type 2 diabetes:
- Is usually caused because the body no longer responds properly to insulin. Glucose (sugar) levels in the blood become too high. This can damage organs such as the heart, kidney, eyes and blood vessels
- Is often linked to being overweight or inactive
- Is a lifelong condition that usually gets worse over time. It can be managed at first through better diet and exercise and drugs such as metformin
- Usually starts later in life, with the chance of getting it becoming much higher when you’re over 40. However, with the rise of obesity in children it is becoming a more common problem in young people
- Does not always have symptoms at first. If it goes undiagnosed for over 5 years there are higher risks of further problems with the eyes, feet, hands, kidneys and heart. Which is why testing is so important
The most common, early symptoms of type 2 diabetes are:
- Wanting to drink more
- Needing to pee more
- Being hungry even after eating
- Dry mouth
- Losing weight unexpectedly
- Getting more infections such as thrush or urinary tract infections (UTI)
- Cuts/wounds take longer to heal
- Feeling tired
- Eyesight problems such as blurred vision
- Sweet smelling urine
Type 2 diabetes can affect anyone but usually affects people are over 40.
Other things that can increase your risk are:
- Being Black-African, South-Asian or African-Caribbean. Diabetes can start earlier in these groups
- Having a direct relative (such as a sibling or parent) who has diabetes increases your risk by 6 times
- Having high blood pressure
- Being overweight or obese, particularly having high body fat around your waste
- Smoking and drinking
Early diagnosis is important for preventing damage to the body. You should be tested if you experience any symptoms or you’re one of those who has a higher risk of getting diabetes, and consider testing as part of a general health check.
You can get tested by ordering a home diabetes test kit. At Superdrug Online Doctor, we offer home testing for diabetes. You can order as long as you’re over 18 and you can check to see if you need to think about starting treatment, or if you want to see how well your current treatment is working. The way it works is, you take a pin-prick blood sample to test your blood sugar levels. You send both samples to our lab and your results will be ready, in your account, after 2-3 days, along with advice from a Superdrug online doctor.
Type 2 diabetes can often have no symptoms but still be causing damage to your body. If left undiagnosed it can result in complications that can seriously affect your health. So, it’s important to regularly get tested if you’re at risk.
You will need to go through your GP to start your diabetes treatment. Treatment has to be prescribed at first by your doctor but you can then be reorder it online through Superdrug Online Doctor.
You will still need to get regular diabetes check ups at your GP surgery to make sure your treatment is keeping your diabetes under control.
To order online you need to:
- Be over 18
- have a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes from a doctor
- have been taking the same dosage of metformin for at least 6 months
You also need to have had the following in the last 6 months:
- A blood sugar test (HbA1c)
- A diabetic check with a GP/nurse
- A kidney function (with eGFR>44) test
To order, follow the 'how to order' steps in the 'how our service works' section above.
Type 2 diabetes can be treated using medications to help control your blood sugar levels. There are a number of options and your GP will help you decide on the best one for you.
If you are prescribed metformin tablets, Superdrug Online Doctor can help you with repeat orders for your medication.
You can also order treatments for some of the risk factors for type 2 diabetes, including high blood pressure and quit smoking medications.
Other treatments for type 2 diabetes, such as insulin pens, are not currently available through Superdrug Online Doctor.
All medications can cause side effects. With metformin these can include:
- Stomach problems like bloating, pain, heartburn, diarrhoea, vomiting, feeling sick, gas and constipation
- Weight loss
- A metallic taste in the mouth
Talk to your GP if you do experience any side effects. They will be able to help you manage them or find an alternative treatment if necessary.
Diabetes UK. What is Type 2 Diabetes. [online]. The British Diabetes Association. Available at: https://www.diabetes.org.uk/type-2-diabetes [accessed 7th August 2020].
NHS (2017). What is Type 2 Diabetes. [online]. NHS. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/type-2-diabetes/ [accessed 16th November 2018].
Medically reviewed byDr Clair Grainger
Last reviewed: 07 Nov 2019