Your Diabetes Care Team

When you get diagnosed with diabetes, it’s important to establish referrals and contacts with other medical professionals that can help you manage your diabetes. This team of professionals will help you during your journey and will require multiple appointments throughout the year. Here are the professionals you should have on your team.

  1. Primary Care Physician (PCP): your family doctor may be the physician who diagnosed your diabetes. Your PCP can coordinate your healthcare team and even recommend diabetes specialists for you.
  2. Endocrinologist: this doctor specializes in treating diseases of the endocrine system, such as diabetes and thyroid problems. The endocrine system is the collection of glands that produce hormones that help regulate metabolism, sleep, and more, including the creation of insulin in the pancreas.
  3. Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE): a specially trained healthcare professional, such as a nurse, dietician, or pharmacist, who can counsel and educate people with diabetes. A diabetes educator helps you set achievable behavioral goals and helps you address your concerns and challenges. To find one in your area click here.
  4. Ophthalmologist: a doctor that monitors your eye health to look for any damage uncontrolled blood sugar may have done to your vision. Check ups are usually for at least once a year, maybe more depending on your condition. Diabetes can affect the blood vessels in the eye.
  5. Podiatrist: this doctor checks your feet for nerve damage or wounds. They treat feet and lower leg problems. Uncontrolled blood sugar can damage the nerves in your body and the podiatrist checks your feet once or twice a year to make sure you can still feel in your feet and there are no hidden wounds between your toes. Daily checks done by yourself can also help you notice if anything has gone amiss.
  6. Dentist: a dentist knows about oral care and is trained to take care of your teeth and gums. Diabetics are at greater risk of gum disease because of the high amounts of sugar in our body. Our mouths become the best place for bacteria to thrive. Check us with your dentist are recommended for every 6 months.
  7. Registered Dietician: an expert in nutrition (what food your particular body needs to stay healthy). They help you use what you eat and drink as tools for managing your blood glucose.

It is important to choose diabetes care team members who can provide the best level of support you want and help when you need it. But let’s not forget that just as much as you need a team of professionals for support, you also need the support of your family and friends. You’re not going through this alone.

If you ever need anyone to talk to, feel free to reach out to me. I’m not a professional, but I will be a friendly ear you can talk to. My inbox is always open.


References

Web MD
Diabetes.org
Health Monitor, Guide to Diabetes, p. 14.


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