Meet your Endocrinologist: Going to the "Diabetes Doctor"

Meet your Endocrinologist: Going to the "Diabetes Doctor"

Meet your Endocrinologist: Going to the "Diabetes Doctor"

You just learned you have diabetes. Your primary care physician (PCP) wants you to track your blood sugar, start a workout program and come back for a follow-up visit. It’s a lot to take in.

As part of your treatment plan, your PCP may refer you to a specialist — an  endocrinologist — who studies diseases and hormone issues like diabetes.

Why Should I See a Specialist?

Diabetes doesn’t only harm the pancreas that makes insulin, a hormone that controls the body’s blood sugar levels. Complications from the disease can touch the whole body. Endocrinologists have special training in diabetes. Other reasons:

  • Treatments are always changing. An endocrinologist is up to date on the latest treatments for diabetes.
  • Diabetes is complex. It takes a lot of care to stay healthy. An endocrinologist will help make sure your treatment is working.
  • These specialists know the ins and outs of your health problem because of their in-depth study.
  • Endocrinologists work with your PCP to make sure you are in top health.
What Should I Ask My Specialist?

It’s best to be open and direct. Diabetes can affect every part of your body. From feelings and emotions to weight issues and harm to other organs, an endocrinologist is familiar with every aspect of the disease.

You can discuss:

  • Your treatment plan. Are you having any trouble following your treatment plan? Have you noticed any changes or improvement in your health problem?
  • Your eligibility for new treatments. Specialists know about new choices that may be available. Share your glucose meter readings, food diary and anything else you track to help your specialist make choices about your care.
  • Your meds. Whether you are taking shots of insulin, medications by mouth, or both to control your diabetes, it’s vital that you know how to take them the right way. Your endocrinologist can help with this.
  • Your life and job. Do your daily routines allow you to diet, workout and take your medications as prescribed? If not, talk with your doctor so you can find a solution or a different treatment. 
  • Your feelings. Do you feel like you are handling your diabetes OK? What would make it simpler? What do you need to know from the doctor?

The more you tell you share, the better your endocrinologist can help you handle your disease and live your best life. If you don’t feel happy with your doctor, remember you have every right to find a new one. We can help you with Provider Finder®

Watch this quick video to learn how you can make the most of your medical visit. leaving site icon

Sources: Diabetes and Glucose Metabolism, leaving site icon Endocrine Society; About Diabetes, leaving site icon American Association of Clinical Endocrinology.

Originally published 2/1/2017; Revised 2019, 2021, 2023