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Advice for people with diabetes and their families

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Diabetes treatments

There are a number of treatments available to help you manage and treat your diabetes. Everyone is different, so treatment will vary depending on your own individual needs.

If you have type 1 diabetes, you’ll need to use insulin to treat your diabetes. You take the insulin by injection or by using a pump. It’s also free on prescription.

If you have Type 2 diabetes, you may have to use insulin or tablets, though you might initially be able to treat your diabetes by eating well and moving more.

If you have another type of diabetes, your treatment options may be different. Speak to your healthcare professional, or call our helpline if you’re not sure.

Your GP or a healthcare professional can help you find the right diabetes treatment plan to suit you and your lifestyle.


Everyone with Type 1 diabetes, and some people with type 2 diabetes, need to take insulin to control their blood glucose (sugar) levels. If you need help injecting yourself, Emma can show you how in our video below.

Treatments for people with Type 1 diabetes

Insulin pumps

Using an insulin pump can be a good alternative to injecting with an insulin pen. It can give you more flexibility when managing your diabetes. Get more information on insulin pumps including the NICE guidelines you need to meet to get one for free.

Islet cell transplant

If you have Type 1 diabetes, you may be able to get an islet cell transplant. This could stop you experiencing severe hypos. Get more information about islet cell transplants – what they are and how to access them.

Treatments for people with Type 2 diabetes

Tablets and medication

If you have type 2 diabetes you may need medication to help manage your blood sugar levels. The most common tablet is metformin, but there are lots of different types.

Some medication stimulates the pancreas to produce insulin, such as sulphonylureas. Others may be prescribed to help you lose weight, if you need to.

If you need to take tablets to manage your diabetes, you and your doctor will decide which is best for you.

Weight loss surgery

There are lots of obesity surgery procedures to the stomach or intestine that you can get to help you lose weight. There have been lots of studies that have found that this can help to put Type 2 diabetes into remission.

Diet and exercise

Lots of people with Type 2 diabetes don’t take any medication, and they instead treat their diabetes by eating well and moving more, our latest research DiRECT has even shown that weight loss can put Type 2 diabetes into remission. We have loads of information and advice that will help you live a healthy life.

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