Managing diabetes effectively requires a well-coordinated team of healthcare professionals who specialize in different aspects of diabetes care. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the key considerations for choosing the best doctors for your diabetes care team. With a growing number of people affected by diabetes worldwide, the importance of a knowledgeable and experienced healthcare team cannot be overstated.
It is important that every diabetic patient to be well-equipped and have a well-experienced team of professionals, doctors and specialists, who understand the complexities of diabetes to help them lead a healthy life with any issues whatsoever.
With the succeeding rise in the number of diseases across the world, it is not surprising that medical advancements have taken quite the roll ahead. Amidst of them all, one of the diseases that does stick out of the rest is Diabetes, be it Type-1 or Type-2.
The statistics published by the World Health Organization suggests that the number of people suffering from Diabetes in 1980 was 108 million which has skyrocketed to 422 million across the world as of 2019 and the number does keep on growing with every single day. By 2040, the number of people with diabetes estimated to jump over 642 million.
Currently, one in every 11 adults in the world has been diagnosed with diabetes.
By the end of this article, you will have a good idea about everything there is to know about the diabetes care team and the process involved in choosing an excellent support team for yourself.
Choosing The Best Diabetes Doctors
Many people have this notion that consulting a diabetes Specialist is just about enough to treat the condition of diabetes, especially when it comes around to Type 2 diabetes.
Given the fact that this disease does have an impact on the whole body, in fact, it is crucial to have a whole team of doctors look after the condition well enough.
|Specialist||Role and Importance|
|General Physician||Your primary care provider who offers primary assistance, medication, and oversees your diabetes health care.|
|Endocrinologist||A specialist in hormone-related diseases; crucial for managing diabetes, a hormonal disorder.|
|Diabetes Educator||Educates and empowers you with knowledge about diabetes, facilitating effective day-to-day management.|
|Dietitian||Provides personalized dietary guidance to maintain stable blood sugar levels and overall well-being.|
|Podiatrist||Monitors foot health to prevent complications like ulcers, especially vital as diabetes can affect circulation.|
|Optometrist||Focuses on eye health, crucial due to diabetes’ potential impact on vision.|
|Urologist||Manages kidney and urinary health; important as diabetes can stress the kidneys.|
|Dentist||Addresses oral health concerns, which can be exacerbated by diabetes.|
We are going to help you through the process to help acclimatize you better with it.
Your Diabetes Care Team
As mentioned before, there are multiple doctors that one needs to stay in touch with when it comes to handling their signs and symptoms associated with diabetes.
Key health care specialists involved in your diabetes care team include below.
General Physician (GP)
Also, often termed as your family doctor or GP, your primary doctor is the one you see for your general check-ups when you tend to get sick.
They are the ones who would be helpful in providing with the primary assistance and medication associated with your condition of Diabetes.
Given the fact that your general physician is your primary source of care, he or she is the one responsible to head and guide the overall diabetes health care team that you have.
Next on the list is an experienced Endocrinologist, a specialist in treating diseases associated with hormones.
The main reason behind the same is because your hormonal system is at risk when it comes down to the condition of diabetes. Not, to forget diabetes is a disease of a hormone, as we noted in the Differences Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes article.
In most cases, it is essential to be in touch with the Endocrinologist on a regular basis to get the problem checked out.
Diabetes Educator (CDE)
A Diabetic Educator, also known as Credentialed Diabetic Educator or CDE, is one who helps work with you to maintain and regulate your condition of diabetes. They will help provide with a wide range of information surrounding the topic and educate you about the ups and downs.
Better you understand diabetes, day to day management of diabetes become easier. Having a generalized idea about diabetes does help in getting a better outlook on the disease altogether.
Diet and a healthy lifestyle are often key to the condition of diabetes, which is why it is best suggested having a dietitian consulted with to prevent any kind of hassle whatsoever.
A registered dietitian is trained in their field and will help you get a proper hold on the diet and nutrition required for maintaining a healthy life with diabetes.
They will also help provide you with the Best Diet for Diabetes chart based on your weight, age, lifestyle and even the kind of medication that you are on.
Not many people know or realize this, but maintaining proper foot hygiene is very important, especially when it comes down to one who has diabetes.
Getting your feet checked on a daily basis is very important to ensure that there are no risks involved in the process through and through. Given the fact that diabetes enhances the risks associated with foot ulcers and amputations, doctors recommend that you do get appointments scheduled with a Podiatrist from time to time.
Podiatrists can also suggest Best Footwear for Your Diabetes.
With diabetes, your eyes are at risk too, which is why an Optometrist is a necessity when it comes to the diabetes healthcare team.
Keeping a check out on the eye and vision helps ensure that you don’t end up making things worse for you.
Urologist, also known as the specialist of kidneys and urinary system, is possibly one of the key specialists in the lot, mainly because the kidneys are often one of the highest at-risk organs to fail when it comes to diabetes.
Based on your Family Doctor’s recommendations, consulting a Urologist from time to time helps ensure that you keep your kidneys in good health and prevent the same from becoming worse.
Last but not least on the list is the Dentist.
Teeth and gums can often end up undergoing a lot of issues for patients who have diabetes. The best way to prevent that is by ensuring that you don’t end up suffering through regular visit to a dentist.
Selecting the Right Diabetes Doctors: Essential Tips
Consider these crucial factors when selecting your diabetes doctors:
Expertise and Experience
Opt for healthcare professionals who are well-versed in diabetes care and have a proven track record in managing the condition effectively. Seek out those who have a substantial background in treating patients with diabetes.
Look for doctors who advocate for a comprehensive approach to diabetes care, considering factors beyond medication, such as lifestyle changes and emotional well-being.
Transparency and Communication
Choose doctors who are transparent about your treatment plan, including its potential challenges and goals. Effective communication is vital for successful diabetes management.
Opt for doctors who tailor their recommendations to your individual needs and preferences. A patient-centered approach ensures that your treatment plan aligns with your lifestyle.
A good doctor collaborates with your entire diabetes care team, ensuring that all specialists work harmoniously to manage your condition.
Diabetes Guidelines Your Doctor Should Follow
Given the fact that diabetes is often a lifestyle and sometimes hereditary bound disease, the best way to combat this is by ensuring that you have a team of doctor who is interested in the diabetes management and up to date with the latest diabetes guidelines of most effective ways to manage diabetes. This involves knowing all the latest drugs and treatment methods for diabetes.
In order to help you have a better idea, I am going to be sharing some major points from the latest guidelines.
There are technically a number of factors involved in maintaining a healthy lifestyle for someone fights with Diabetes. As such, it is important for the healthcare provider, your diabetes care team, to keep those into consideration while prescribing medications and talking about further treatment options.
The outline for the list of key areas as per guidelines you and your diabetes care team should focus on.
The very first and foremost on the list is definitely the diet.
It is imperative to ensure that you do divert your focus along on the diet as per what the dietitian suggests.
Attention to quantity as well as the type of food does play a significant role in the process.
Additionally, any form of risks associated with heart and cardiovascular diseases in the process does require further attention to detail of what you eat.
Body mass index
If you didn’t know yet, it is important to understand for a fact that overweight and obesity is one of the fatal risk factors involved with Type-2 Diabetes.
In order to avoid making diabetes worse, it is important to focus on regulating 5-10% weight loss in obese diabetes patients with immediate effect, depending on your doctors’ advice.
Maintaining a healthy BMI is key when it comes to handling the conditions of diabetes well.
The same can be achieved either with a healthy and nutritious diet or even with a proper exercise regime. If you remember, we previously discussed the Best Exercises for People with Diabetes.
Yet another one of the important factors that are involved in the process is to indulge in some form of physical activity every single day. Indulging in 30 minutes of moderate physical walk or even exercising for the same amount every other day can be very fruitful in regulating the condition of diabetes in an individual.
Blood glucose levels
The blood glucose levels in the body and its proper maintenance are key in reversing and managing the conditions associated with diabetes well.
Constant or abrupt changes and fluctuations in the levels of blood glucose in the body can make the situation worse, enhancing the risk factors associated with the same.
Whatever the circumstances are, it is important to get regular and timely check-ins with the blood glucose levels in the body to help ensure that you do maintain a healthy level of the same.
Follow the link to learn the importance of A1C testing in reversing the Type 2 diabetes.
Extra care on your bad habits
With the basic important factors out of the way, it is now time to divert focus on some accessory risk factors under the guidelines that do require immediate attention.
Both smokings as well as alcohol consumption do have the potential to end up being a problem for people who have diabetes, especially in the battle of beating the disease.
If your condition of Type-2 diabetes is not in control and is getting worse with every passing day, it is best suggested ensuring that you do try to cut out smoking and drinking from your lifestyle to lead a healthy life ahead.
Yet another one of the factors under the guidelines for diabetics is the level of cholesterol in your body.
Given the fact that diabetes patients, especially type 2 diabetes patients tend to have a risk of getting a number of their organs affected, the last thing that anyone needs is a rising peak in the levels of cholesterol in the body. What this does is end up affecting one’s health even more so.
Remember, sticking to a healthy diet and an active lifestyle has been found to have quite an amazing impact on cholesterol levels. Maintaining a healthy level of the same ensures to keep the heart and cardiovascular diseases at bay.
Another one of the important criteria to take note of is the blood pressure of your body.
It is believed that the target blood pressure levels for people with type-2 diabetes should be around 130/80 mm of Hg. Additionally, it is also very important to ensure that you do look out for the treatment options do not affect the levels of the blood pressure to drastic levels because the same does have the potency for that.
In maintaining blood pressure within the recommended range can be done only by measuring the blood pressure levels regularly and take action if it is too high. In this regard, having a Blood Pressure Monitor at Home is a handy option.
Maintaining a healthy level of blood pressure can have amazing impacts on the management of diabetes even more so.
What Do Doctors Consider When Deciding The Best Diabetes Treatment Plan For You?
When it comes to the doctor considering and deciding the right diabetes treatment options for you, the possibilities are definitely quite extensive.
There are a number of criteria that doctors consider before proceeding with the treatments, looking over all the pros and cons and minimizing any kind of risks of side effects.
Some of the important factors that doctors do consider include before prescribing you treatment are below.
Before anything, it is important for the doctor to deduce which type of Diabetes you are struggling with, be it Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes.
The approach to treatment for each type of diabetes is different which is why it is important to ensure that the doctor considers the same before going forth with the treatment.
In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas becomes incapable of producing insulin in the body. In type 2 diabetes, the insulin produced by the pancreas isn’t effective in channelling the necessary functions it is here for.
The doctor does assess the possibilities and then moves forward with the relying on the approach of treatment they deem effective for the condition.
Next on the list is to look out over on the timeline of the disease to get a better understanding of how long the condition has prevailed around for.
In type 2 diabetes, if you are prediabetes or at early stages of diabetes, the doctors suggest to start off by making healthier changes to one’s eating habits, followed by maintaining an active lifestyle before assigning them with treatment options.
If the lifestyle changes don’t work out, that’s when the possible medications are suggested.
The doctor also considers your exercise habits to draw a treatment plan according to the same.
Given the fact that the exercising is quite an important factor when it comes to managing the condition of diabetes, the doctors do suggest getting 30 minutes of brisk walking every other day as part of the treatment plan.
However, note that people who have type 1 diabetes are at risk of levelling their glucose levels too low if they indulge in too much exercise. The doctor, depending on your condition, will definitely work to change up the medication and such to ensure a healthier lifestyle.
Often times, oral diabetic medications can make pregnancies tough to handle.
If you are planning on getting pregnant and such, it is important that you consult about the same with your doctor as well. In such cases, the doctor works along to provide with a plan to manage the condition of diabetes with diet, exercise as well as insulin instead of the oral medications.
Follow the link to learn more about Diabetes during Pregnancy.
As much it seems like an off-topic suggestion, your finances do play a very crucial role in the overall process of your doctors’ evaluation and treatment strategy.
Diabetes treatments can cost quite a sum, and if you don’t have the capabilities of paying them through, it is important to ensure that you talk to your doctor about the same before it gets out of hand.
In order to cope with the same, the doctor may suggest generic medications for the condition to help you through the treatment process. I even know, some doctors treating patient’s free of charge, considering patients financial circumstances.
If you have any other medical conditions that you are suffering from, it is important to tell your doctor about them.
Given the fact that there are other medications may involve and some diabetes medication may have an impact on other health conditions, it is important for your diabetic health care team to know about all your health conditions to avoid any kind of a mismatch.
The last thing you want is to make one of your important medications ineffective because of the other medicine.
Diabetes does bring along a plethora of health complications that not many are even aware of.
Therefore, before designating with any of the medicines and such, your doctor will look for any possible signs of complications, confirm if any, and advice about them to you.
Monitoring for the possible complication of diabetes is an important part of diabetes management.
Signs of a Good Diabetes Doctor
Diabetes might not seem that critical of a disease on the outside, but the condition does inflict quite a lot on one’s health and body. Irrespective of everything, if you have been experiencing complications of diabetes, chances are that your doctor is not doing a very good job.
In here, we will discuss some signs that you have a good or a not so good doctor to manage health conditions associated with diabetes.
Characteristics of a good diabetes doctor are below.
1. They have the experience
The very first factor that makes your doctor an important one to keep around is the fact that they have the experience in the field they are dealing with. That means experience in managing diabetes.
If your doctor is not much interested in ‘chronic’ conditions such as diabetes, isn’t qualified enough in the area of diabetes, and doesn’t have the experience of treating patients like yourself, then what even is the point of the whole ordeal.
Be very careful of the doctor you are relying on. You must ask and verify your doctor’s areas of expertise and interests.
2. You like the doctor
Next on the list of consideration is whether or not you like the doctor.
Remember, you have to like your doctor and feel comfortable around him, so you can get best out of him/her. If you do not like your doctor, that may have an adverse effect, psychologically, on the effect of doctor’s treatment.
You must feel comfortable in front of your doctor.
There are a number of factors involved when it comes down to getting your doctor for treating diabetes. Online reviews can be a decisive factor but not everything resides on it. If you like your doctor and the treatment approach they are opting for, it is best suggested keeping them.
3. Maintains transparency
It is important to ensure that the doctor you are going to is transparent about their failures too. For example, the doctor may want to try a new drug or dose which could result in some temporary side effects or no effect on your disease at all.
Given a human being at the end of the day, they are subject to experiencing failures in their lives if the disease is too challenging to handle altogether.
The best way to ensure that you are in the hands of a good doctor is when you see them accept their failures along with their success stories too.
As much as of a “critical” disease diabetes might not be, it is still a matter that comes with its fair share of complications. The last thing you want is to have a doctor who is not going to be accessible in times of emergency.
Therefore, before it’s too late, ensure that they are available whenever you call or are at least accessible through and through.
Remember, some doctors even pass their mobile numbers to their long-term patients to contact them in critical situations.
5. Patient Rapport
Choose a doctor you feel comfortable with, fostering open communication and trust.
6. Collaborative Attitude
A skilled doctor collaborates with your care team, valuing input from different specialists.
Characteristics of a Bad Diabetes Doctor
Some of the signs that your doctor is not the best in treating diabetes include the following characteristics.
1. Recurring patients
People come to the doctors to get their problem fixed, so they don’t have to roam around the hospitals more often.
If you are finding your doctor’s patients getting admitted to the hospital quite often, the chances are that your doctor might not be the best one in the lot.
People visit doctors with a lot on their mind and overbearing stress to top it all off. If your doctor is rude throughout your visit or being dismissive, the chances are that they might not be taking the process that seriously as they should.
It is important to ditch a doctor who is just “nice” but does not understand your struggle or empathetic.
3. Constant tests
Tests are important to get in-depth knowledge about the problem, but if you are finding your doctor constantly assigning tests to be gotten done even though you got it done just a week before, the chances are that they are not worth the time at all.
Experienced doctors are not fans of regular tests without giving you a strong reason why he/she requests the test.
4. Less time
The last thing you want is for your doctor to make you wait for one hour and then checking you within 5 minutes and leaving to the next patient.
It is important to find a doctor to takes their time to analyze the patient well and then come to conclusions and not be dismissive about the condition altogether.
What Are The Questions To Ask From Doctor If You Have Diabetes
As a person diagnosed with prediabetes or diabetes, there is a number of questions you should after ask from your doctors, and diabetes care team.
The list is below.
1- Should I be afraid of being at higher risk of other diseases because of diabetes?
2- Is it important to consult other accessory doctors as well?
3- How often should I get my blood glucose levels checked?
4- When do I need to take my medications and for how long?
5- Do I need to stop eating everything I love?
6- How do I manage my weight with Diabetes?
7- Why is it important to take care of my foot all the time?
8- Is it important to take the medications every day, even if I feel fine?
9- What kind of exercise should I indulge in?
10- Are my children at risk of this disease because I have it?
11- What should I do if the blood glucose levels are very high?
12- What should I do if the blood glucose levels are too low?
13- Could you give me a better idea about diabetic retinopathy?
14- Are there any side effects of the prescribed medication?
15- How can I prevent the complications that come along with Diabetes?
16- What is the normal weight that a diabetic patient should maintain?
18 – Risk Management: How does diabetes impact my risk of other diseases, and how can I minimize these risks?
19- Comprehensive Care: Should I consult other specialists beyond an endocrinologist for optimal diabetes care?
20- Monitoring Frequency: How often should I check my blood glucose levels to maintain control?
21- Medication Regimen: When and how should I take my prescribed medications, and for how long?
22- Dietary Guidance: How can I manage my weight effectively through dietary choices?
23- Foot Health: Why is foot care crucial for people with diabetes, and what steps should I take?
24- Lifestyle Impact: Do I need to continue taking medications even if my condition seems stable?
25- Physical Activity: What exercise routine is suitable for my diabetes management?
26- Hereditary Risk: Are my family members at risk due to my diabetes?
27- Blood Glucose Management: What actions should I take if my blood glucose levels become very high or too low?
Who is a Diabetes Specialist?
In general, Endocrinologists are considered diabetes specialists. As noted above, they are the experts for diseases of the body’s hormone system.
However, depending on the reason why you (or your doctor) think why you need advise from a diabetes specialist, the specialist may differ.
For example, if you need to a specialist to help with a leg ulcer, Podiatrist or Vascular Surgeon could be the specialist you are after. Similarly, if you need some advice on kidney complications due to diabetes, then the Urologist is the go to specialist.
When to See a Diabetes Specialist Doctor?
There are a number of red signals that could be indicative that you should consult a specialist. Whatever the condition be, remember these below-mentioned stances and reach out to a specialist if need be.
- When the blood glucose levels are high even with all the approach to treatment and medications
- When the accessory organs in the body are showing deteriorating condition
- When your eyesight is becoming weaker
- When your feet are not in the best health
Having a well-experienced team of professionals under your diabetic health care team can be very helpful in effectively managing this chronic disease ’diabetes’. Make sure to opt for the doctors who know what they are doing and genuinely fights with you against diabetes.
Conclusion: Your Expert Diabetes Care Team
With diabetes affecting multiple facets of health, assembling a skilled diabetes care team is essential. Your team should consist of professionals who bring expertise in various relevant fields, fostering holistic care. Choose doctors who demonstrate experience, embrace collaboration, and prioritize transparent communication. By empowering yourself with knowledge and selecting the right diabetes doctors, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the journey toward optimal diabetes management.
Remember, diabetes care is a collaborative effort, and your choice of doctors can significantly impact your well-being. Don’t hesitate to advocate for your health by selecting doctors who embody the qualities of excellence, dedication, and a patient-centered approach.