Your Diabetes Care Team

Medically Reviewed by Dr. K on 6 May 2021

Table of Contents

 

  1. Your Diabetes Care Team
  2. How Often Should I See My Doctor?
  3. What Does My Doctor Need to Know?
  4. What Tests Should I Have?

 

Your Diabetes Care Team

 

Your health care team assists you with managing your diabetes and promoting overall health. The American Diabetes Association recommends that your diabetes treatment staff comprise the following:

 

You: You are the most important member of your diabetes care team! Your diabetes treatment team should rely on you to communicate honestly with them and provide accurate knowledge about your body.

Monitor your blood sugar and inform the doctor if your new medication is effectively treating your diabetes. Through monitoring your blood sugar levels, you may also avoid or minimise hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) occurrences.

Primary doctor: Your doctor is the doctor you visit for routine checkups and when you get sick. This person is usually an internist or family doctor with experience treating patients with diabetes.

Due to the fact that your primary care doctor is your primary source of care, he or she would most definitely lead your diabetes care team.

Endocrinologist: An endocrinologist is a doctor who has received further instruction and expertise in the treatment of diabetic patients. You can visit yours on a daily basis.

Dietitian: A registered dietitian (RD) is a dietary specialist. Since diet is a critical component of diabetes care, yours can assist you in determining your food requirements depending on your weight, lifestyle, medicine, and other health objectives (like lowering blood fat levels or blood pressure).

Nurse educator: A diabetes trainer or diabetes nurse practitioner is a registered nurse (RN) who has received further training and experience caring for and educating individuals with diabetes. Nurse educators also assist you with the day-to-day facets of diabetes living.

Eye doctor: Diabetes will cause problems on the blood vessels in the eyes, resulting in blindness. There it is important, at least once a year, to get your eyes checked by an ophthalmologist or optometrist. Ophthalmologist is a specialist who is qualified to treat eye issues professionally and surgically. Optometrist is someone who is certified to manage primary eye conditions, such as how well the eye focuses or assisting with the diagnosis of more serious problems; optometrists are not medical doctors. 

Podiatrist: Foot treatment is essential for those with diabetes, and may result in nerve damage in the extremities. A podiatrist is specialised to manage foot and lower leg issues. These doctors have earned a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) degree from a podiatric hospital. Additionally, they have completed a podiatry internship (hospital training).

Dentist: Diabetes patients have an increased risk of gum disease. Excess blood sugar in the mouth provides an ideal environment for bacteria, which may result in infection. Every six months, you should visit your dentist. Inform your dentist about your diabetes.

Exercise trainer: Exercise can play a significant role in treating diabetes regardless of the type. Along with your doctor, the safest individual to prepare your wellness routine is someone who is skilled in the theoretical foundations of exercise and healthy conditioning techniques.

How Often Should I See My Doctor?

Individuals with diabetes who require insulin injections are often seen by a specialist every three or four months. Individuals who take medications or who manage their diabetes primarily by food can schedule an appointment at least every four to six months. 

You will need to visit more frequently if your blood pressure is not under control or if your symptoms worsen.

What Does My Doctor Need to Know?

In general, the doctor needs to know how well you're in controlling the diabetes and if diabetic problems are developing or worsening. Therefore, bring your home blood sugar testing record to each appointment and inform your doctor about any signs of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or hyperglycemia (high blood sugar).

Additionally, inform the doctor about any alterations in your diet, exercise, or medications, as well as any current conditions you might have developed. Inform the doctor whether you've had any of the following signs of eye, nerve, kidney, or cardiovascular disease:

  • Blurred vision.
  • Numbness or tingling in your fingers or feet
  • Swelling of the hands, feet, face, or legs that continues.
  • Cramping or leg discomfort.
  • Chest pain.
  • Breathlessness.
  • Numbness or fatigue on one side of your body
  • Weight gain

What Tests Should I Have?

When you have diabetes, you should get daily lab tests:

  • Haemoglobin A1c (HbA1C)
  • Kidney function
  • Lipid testing, which involves cholesterol, triglycerides, and HDL.

You may also require thyroid and liver testing.

Sources

Referenced on  17/4/2021

  1. American Diabetes Association: “Who's on Your Health Care Team?"
  2. Rothman, R. Am J Med,  2005. 
  3. Mangione, C. Ann InternMed, 2006.
  4. https://www.webmd.lth-care-teamcom/diabetes/guide/diabetes-hea

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