Getting diagnosed

Type 2 diabetes is often diagnosed following routine blood tests.

However, you should see a GP straight away if you have any symptoms of diabetes or you're concerned about your risk.

To diagnose type 2 diabetes:

  1. Your GP will arrange a blood test to check your blood sugar levels.
  2. If your blood sugar levels are raised, the GP will explain the test results and what will happen next.
  3. Usually, a repeat test is needed if you do not have any symptoms.

If you're diagnosed with diabetes

What the GP will discuss with you during your appointment depends on the diagnosis and the treatment they recommend.

Generally, they'll talk to you about:


The 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 help and support for type 2 diabetes.

What happens after the diagnosis

Usually, the following things happen after your diagnosis:

  1. You'll usually need to make changes to your diet and be more active.
  2. The GP may prescribe medicine. It might take time for you to get used to the medicine and to find the right doses for you.
  3. You'll need to go for regular type 2 diabetes check-ups.
  4. You'll be given advice about certain signs to look out for, to avoid other health problems.
  5. You may be advised to join a free course to learn more about type 2 diabetes, such as Healthy Living for people with type 2 diabetes.

If you're found to be at risk of diabetes

If you're found to have blood sugar levels above the normal range, but not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes, you may be offered a referral to your local NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme.

This has been proven to help people reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by making lasting changes to improve their diet, be more active and reach a healthy weight.

Page last reviewed: 22 December 2023
Next review due: 22 December 2026