Doctors Who Treat Diabetes
There are a
number of different healthcare professionals who treat diabetes. While many
people work with their primary care physician to manage diabetes, others rely
on one or more doctors and specialists to monitor their condition. Talk to your
doctor about testing if you are at risk for diabetes or begin experiencing
symptoms associated with the disease. The following sections discuss the
different doctors and specialists who can assist in various aspects of diabetes
diagnosis and care.
Primary Care Physician
As you get
older, regular checkups with your own doctor can monitor you for diabetes. Depending
on your symptoms or risk factors, your doctor may perform urine or blood tests
to diagnose the disease. If you do have diabetes, your doctor may prescribe medication
and manage your condition, or you may be referred to a specialist to help
monitor your treatment. It’s likely that your personal doctor will be part of a
team of healthcare professionals who will work with you.
diabetes is a disease of the pancreas gland, which is part of the endocrine
system. An endocrinologist is a specialist who diagnoses, treats, and manages pancreatic
diseases. Sometimes, people with type 2 diabetes may also need an
endocrinologist if they have trouble getting symptoms under control.
cataracts, glaucoma, and damage to the retina (retinopathy) are issues for many
people with diabetes. You must regularly visit an eye doctor, such an
optometrist or ophthalmologist, in order to check for these potentially serious
diseases that prevent blood flow to the small vessels are common in people with
diabetes. This condition can affect the feet in particular, so you should make regular
visits to a podiatrist. People with diabetes also have a reduced ability to
heal even minor blisters and cuts. A podiatrist can monitor your feet for any
serious infections that could lead to gangrene and amputation.
Trainer or Exercise Physiologist
active and getting enough exercise is needed to manage blood sugar levels and
maintain a healthy weight. Getting help from a professional can help you get
the most out of your exercise routine and motivate you to stick with it.
Your diet plays
a very important role in managing diabetes. If you have trouble finding the
right diet to help control your symptoms, get the help of a registered dietitian.
They can help you create an eating plan that fits your specific needs.
Preparing for Your Initial Visit
which doctor or healthcare professional you see first, it’s important to be
prepared so you can make the most of your time. Call ahead and see if there is
anything you need to do to prepare, such as fasting for a blood test. Make a
list of all your symptoms and any medications you are taking, and write down
any questions you have before your appointment. Here are a few sample questions
to get you started:
tests will I need to check for diabetes?
will you know what type of diabetes I have?
I have to take shots every day? Or other medication?
much does treatment cost?
can I do to control my diabetes?
Resources for Coping and Support
There is no
cure for diabetes, and managing the disease is a lifelong endeavor. In addition
to working with your doctors to coordinate treatment, joining a support group
may help you better cope with diabetes. Several national organizations offer an
online community, as well as information about various groups and programs available
in cities across the country. Here are a few web resources to check out:
may also be able to provide resources for support groups and organizations in