Which medical professionals can help me manage diabetes?
Creating a team to help you manage your diabetes can be key to maintaining an optimal quality of life, and thwarting the complications typically associated with poor management of the disease. Know your medical team players:
Primary care doctor – He is your go to person for general care
Endocrinologist – He is the specialist who actually has specific training in this disease
Diabetes educator – This expert can be a dietician, registered nurse or even a pharmacist who has received “special and additional training” in the care of those with a diagnosis of diabetes. This expert can teach you how to take insulin, check blood glucose levels, manage food choices, specifically count carbohydrates and also help you to achieve goals.
Registered dietician (nutritionist) – These are certified members who have extensive experience in helping you to create a dietary program that is optimal. You can learn to read food labels, understand how to balance your meals and snacks, how to address nutritional needs pre and post workouts and how to navigate food parties and restaurant eating where you may not have complete control of ingredients and choices.
Other experts you want on your team include: Eye doctor, podiatrist, dentist, exercise coach/personal trainer, pharmacist. If you are struggling with your diagnosis, you may want to engage the help of a mental health professional, even short term. Remember that friends, family and you, yes you, are also integral team members who can help to manage your disease.