August 20, 2015

Who Is On Your Diabetes Care Team? - Part 2

A Podiatrist: This health professional is trained to treat feet and problems of the lower legs. For anyone with diabetes, which can cause nerve damage in the extremities, foot care is important. Podiatrists have a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) degree from a college of podiatry. They have also done a residency (hospital training) in podiatry. This doctor is important for care of your feet and lower legs and to help you prevent problems with foot ulcers and other cuts or bruises that don't heal as fast as they should.

The last two individuals are often optional and sometimes not available in largely rural areas. If you are taking insulin then this doctor could be important if available:
An Endocrinologist: An endocrinologist should also be seen regularly. An endocrinologist is a doctor who has special training and experience in treating people with diabetes and is important for people on insulin.

Exercise trainer:  This person is totally optional and unless you can afford this person, ignore this specialist:   Exercise plays a major role in your diabetes care, no matter what kind of diabetes you have. The best person to plan your fitness program -- along with your doctor -- is someone trained in the scientific basis of exercise and in safe conditioning methods.

People with diabetes who are treated with insulin shots generally should see their doctor at least every three to four months. Those who are treated with pills or who are managing diabetes through diet should be seen at least every four to six months. Visits that are more frequent may be necessary if your blood glucose is not well managed, or if complications of diabetes are becoming worse.

Generally, your doctor needs to know how well your diabetes is managed and whether diabetic complications are starting or getting worse. Therefore, at each visit, provide your doctor with your home blood sugar monitoring record and report any symptoms of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or hyperglycemia (high blood sugar).

Your doctor also should be informed of any changes in your diet, exercise, or medicines and of any new illnesses you may have developed. Tell your doctor if you have experienced any symptoms of eye, nerve, kidney, or cardiovascular problems such as:
  • Blurred vision
  • Numbness or tingling in your feet
  • Persistent hand, feet, face, or leg swelling
  • Cramping or pain in the legs
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Numbness or weakness on one side of your body
  • Unusual weight gain
If you have diabetes, your lab tests should include:
  • Hemoglobin A1c
  • Urine and blood tests for kidney function
  • Lipid testing, which includes cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL, and LDL
  • Thyroid and liver tests as needed


No comments: