Meet your Endocrinologist! Going to the "Diabetes Doctor"

 

You’ve had a shock. You’ve been told you have diabetes. Your primary care physician (PCP) wants you to closely 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 primary doctor’s treatment plan, you may also be referred to a specialist who studies diseases and hormone issues like diabetes. They’re called endocrinologists and they’re trained physicians who can diagnose diseases related to the glands and hormones. 

Why should I see a specialist?

Diabetes doesn’t only affect the pancreas, which makes the insulin hormone. Complications can touch the whole body.

Endocrinologists have more specialty training about diabetes and these complications. There may be several reasons your primary doctor may refer you to an endocrinologist:

  • Treatments are always changing. They know the up-to-date care and technologies that can help.
  • Diseases like diabetes are not so easy to handle. It takes a lot of care and upkeep to make sure you are as healthy as possible. An endocrinologist can help make sure that treatments work and that everything is in check.
  • These specialists know the ins and outs of your health problem because of their in-depth level of study. They also know the best treatments and what to look out for.
  • Endocrinologists work with your PCP to make sure that you are in top health.

What do I ask my specialist? It’s best to be an open book. Hormones can affect every part of your body. From feelings and emotions to weight issues and uncontrolled blood sugar levels, these doctors are familiar with it.

What can you share:

  • Your treatment and any results. 
  • Ask if there are any new treatments. Specialists know what is coming and what is available to patients like you. Share your glucose meter readings, food diary and anything else you track to help your specialist make choices about your care.
  • Questions about your meds. Whether you are taking shots of insulin or medications by mouth, or both to control your diabetes, it’s vital that you know how to do it and an endocrinologist can help with this.
  • How your life and job relate. Do your daily routines allow you to diet, exercise, and take your medications as recommended?  If not, now is the time to talk about this, so maybe a different treatment can be recommended. 
  • Your feelings overall about your disease. Do you feel like you are handling your diabetes OK? What would make it simpler? What do you need to know from the doctor?

Watch here to learn how to make the most of your medical visit. 

The more you tell your specialist, the better they can help you handle your disease. They’re there to serve you and make sure you’re living your best life. Also, if you don’t feel happy with your doctor, you have every right to find a new one. We can help you with Provider Finder.

If you have any other questions, drop us a line. We’re here to help, too!

Sources: Endocrine Society, American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists.

 

Last updated: 4/4/2019

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