There are a number of treatments available to help you treat your diabetes, from insulin pumps to tablets and medication. Here we share stories about the different ways in which people have learnt to manage their condition, to help you understand what options you have.

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In August 2022, my blood test showed that my HbA1c was 60mmol/mol and the doctor felt my diet was not working. To be honest though, I wasn’t really doing the diet properly. The decision was made that I would be put on metformin, which at the time I accepted.

I started with one tablet a day with my meal, then in the second week this was increased to two tablets. I was only on the tablets for about six weeks but that was long enough for me; that’s when I decided it was time to take charge of my life. I had also been getting headaches and cramps in my shoulders and legs, and I just felt really out of sorts.

Read Michael 's complete story

Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes aged 16

"It was a bit like coming out again when I moved to the Freestyle Libre."

People saw it and asked what it was so I've been taking more about it. It's been lovely educating people on type 1 and also having their support. Even a quick 'everything good Lee?' on set whilst someone taps their arm where my Libre is.

"It makes me feel really supported without being swaddled by nervous snack holders trying to feed me every 5 minutes!"

Before the Freestyle Libre, checking bloods was a painful and frustrating process. Finding somewhere to wash your hands, sitting down somewhere, and fiddling with strips have all gone now. 

Real-time monitoring makes you able to see patterns and catch warning signs before hypos or hypers. I think if I'd had the Freestyle Libre when I was first diagnosed all those years ago it would have been far easier to get to grips with my diabetes.

Read 's complete story

CharlotteDiagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 17

Getting the Freestyle Libre

When I had my second child, I was able to have the Freestyle Libre funded on the NHS from the start of the pregnancy and I was so much more relaxed. I had also moved to part-time working. 


The Libre relieved lots of my anxiety. I still worried a little about hypos and doing exercise, but it was nowhere near as bad as the worry in my first pregnancy. And I stayed active. I knew if I did a quick scan of my Libre, I would see my sugar level and see I might just need to eat something. 

I’d have pregnancy appointments every two weeks. If everything was OK, I’d speak to my diabetes nurse over the phone. She could view all the information from my Freestyle Libre and insulin pump. So I didn’t always have to go for a face-to-face chat which is amazing as I had a two-year-old. 

I’d say “I don’t know what to do here” – referring to something on my sugar readings. And my diabetes nurse would say, “We just need to do this’ – and suggest an adjustment to the basal insulin settings on my pump. It was a gamer changer. 

On the scans, Elliot measured big. But when my first son Spencer was born, he was the biggest, longest, tallest kid and still is. So I thought, “he’s just going to be another big lad’. And I was much less worried. I could see from all the data on my Libre that I was trying my best with my blood sugar levels and pretty much in my target range. I had that extra reassurance. It gave me the full picture.

For my second pregnancy, I opted for a planned C-section at just before 38 weeks. It was a lovely experience. It was calm, there was music on and people who understood my diabetes. I hadn’t wanted to go through a natural delivery in order to potentially end up with an emergency C-section as I had with my first pregnancy. 

I’d love to have had the experience of being pregnant with a hybrid closed loop system. I’ve been using one for a few months and it’s really reduced my hypos because the pump automatically adjusts the insulin.

Read Charlotte's complete story
Sarah Parsons

Weight loss surgery

I had gastric bypass surgery in 2014. My starting weight was 190kg, which dropped to 114kg post-op, within seven months. As a result of this weight loss, I went into remission from type 2 diabetes for just over two years. 

But I experienced several complications following the operation, including gastrointestinal disorders, bowel problems and a diagnosis of pancreatitis, which I think may have developed in part due to my history of disordered eating.  

All in all, the journey was quite horrific. And I spoke about my experiences of bariatric surgery at the 2023 Diabetes UK Professional Conference (DUKPC) to share how the process was for me, and the problems I experienced.  

Read 's complete story
Kayleigh Steel



I’ve mostly self-managed living with type 2 diabetes. I was told I would not be given a free blood glucose monitor and NHS prescription for test strips, so bought one. However, I can’t afford to use strips that often, so I ran out quickly in the early days of using it.  

I’m on the smallest dose of metformin, I’ve tried different types of antidepressants and have tried different types of therapy, including CBT and talking therapies.  

After all of this self-management and through the information I had gathered from the Diabetes UK website, I decided to ask my healthcare team for help to attempt the Newcastle Diet but it wasn’t offered in my area and I wasn’t given access to a dietitian for support. I tried the diet on my own and it worked for a couple of months until my mental health once again took a downwards turn and I continued with my previous unhealthy eating habits.  

Eventually, at my annual diabetes check up in January this year, I had a breakdown about my weight and my struggles with binge eating. I was referred to a social prescriber, who offered me vouchers to Slimming World, which although helps with the weight loss doesn’t help with my bad relationship with food. I also discussed another course of CBT therapy but with working full-time, studying for a masters, planning a wedding and just generally living, the local mental health team didn’t feel like I had the time to commit to therapy at this stage.  

Read Kayleigh's complete story
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