July 15, 2015

Questions for Your Doctor

If you were recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, ask your doctor these questions at your next visit. In the meantime, I will give you my answers and possible things for you to think about when you ask your doctor.

#1. Does having diabetes mean that I am at higher risk for other medical problems? My answer is yes. Think of heart disease, neuropathy, and the diabetes complications. There are other possibilities and your doctor may be aware of your family history, which could affect the answer.

#2. Should I start seeing other doctors regularly, such as an eye doctor? My answer again is yes. I had several doctors that I saw on a regular basis – some were quarterly and others were 2 times a year. There should be no doubt about this and the doctors you may need to see will depend on your medical history and how well your doctor knows diabetes. I often see the dentist as a doctor to see on a regular basis and especially if you have type 2 diabetes.

3. How often should I test my blood sugar, and what should I do if it is too high or too low? This will depend on the medication you are taking. I test about six times per day as I only eat twice a day and use insulin. The two “experts”, Dr. Ratner of the ADA and Dr. Garber of the AACE don't believe we need to test if on oral medications and that we should rely on the A1c. Even some professional organizations do not believe we should be testing. To this I say BS and I know better to operate completely in the dark to manage diabetes effectively. Read my blog here about testing.

4. Are there any new medications that I could use to help manage my diabetes? I will only use metformin or insulin. Every oral diabetes medication has side effects to be concerned about. Your doctor should discuss the side effects with you. If the doctor does not do this or side steps the question, refuse the new medication.

5. Does diabetes mean I have to stop eating the foods I like best? My answer is – maybe.  There are some foods you will probably eliminate such a potatoes and rice.  By using your blood glucose meter before (preprandial) and after (postprandial) your meal is the best way to discover what to restrict or eliminate from your meal plan.  

6. How can exercise make a difference in my diabetes? It can help make blood glucose easier to manage, is my answer. Do realize that for some people, other medical conditions may prevent most types of exercise.

7. If I'm overweight, how many pounds do I have to lose to make a difference in my health? This will depend on how much you are overweight. I say if you are greater than 10 percent overweight, then the full amount needs to be lost. The “experts” all agree that 5 to 7 percent of the weight will help reduce the problems and help in diabetes management.  The best thing to do is lose the weight.

8. Are my children at increased risk for the disease? This will depend on whether you pass the genetic properties for diabetes, but in general your children will have the opportunity to avoid diabetes if they learn how to eat properly and exercise at a young age.

9. What is the importance of diet in diabetes? Diets are worthless because they fail. It is the food plan that you develop using your blood glucose meter that work. Generally, a low carb food plan may be the best for many.

10. Do I need to take my medications even on days that I feel fine? This will depend on the medication you are taking, how often you are taking it, and what your blood glucose level is at the time you are to take the medication. Generally, unless your blood glucose level is above 150 mg/dl when you are to take your medication, you should not. The best answer is to have this conversation with your doctor.

1 comment:

Denise Elliott said...

Given my past experience, I would throw in the increased risk of gingevitis/gum disease for diabetics. Also, would add that visits to the dentist 2-3 times a year should be part of any person with diabetes' medical routine.

Great, informative post, as always, Bob!