Building a Diabetes Care Team
✨Challenges✨ We all have them, am I right? As a person with diabetes, they're definitely not something you can escape. When you're living with diabetes, it's important to have a strong support system. A care team can help manage diabetic challenges easier by providing information, advice, and emotional support. Here's a look at which professionals would be great teammates in your diabetes care team.
Finding the right people for your diabetes care team
Primary care doctors, endocrinologists, registered dietitians, and personal trainers are important additions to your diabetes care team. Friends, family, or other sources can recommend these professionals, or you can find them on your own. What is important to keep in mind is that they should proactively guide you through this experience and help you stay on track.
Qualities of a great primary doctor
The role of your primary doctor is essentially the cornerstone of your diabetes care. When choosing this professional, look for someone who has experience in:
- Prescribing insulin and medication
- Monitoring blood sugar
- Recognizing the signs of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia
- Checking nerve function
- Measuring foot circulation (ankle reflex test)
Your primary doctor should regularly check for other diabetes complications, like diabetic nephropathy and retinopathy. Your doctor should also be a good teacher and communicator. They should explain diabetes to you clearly and answer your questions in a way that helps you understand what you need to do to stay healthy. It is also essential to be honest about your fears and concerns with your doctor.
The roles of an endocrinologist
An endocrinologist focuses on the disease process of diabetes; they specialize in controlling blood sugar levels and preventing long-term complications. The qualities that I look for in a successful endocrinologist for my care includes:
- Advises blood glucose monitoring daily to achieve the best control of diabetes.
- Recommends changes in my management plan based on A1c levels rather than solely fasting plasma glucose (FPG) results.
- Develops a plan that fits my lifestyle and provides support and guidance on how best to care for myself.
Your endocrinologist should also be an expert in managing diabetes through nutrition, exercise, and medications. They should be trained to manage blood glucose abnormalities related to low and high blood sugar. Other important qualities to consider are interpersonal skills, compassion, and patience.
Choosing a registered dietitian
When choosing to work with a registered dietitian, looking for someone who specializes in helping individuals manage medical conditions may be a good choice. Some registered dietitians are also certified diabetes care and education specialists. Some great qualities to look out for in a registered dietitian are knowledge of blood sugar control, meal planning, and knowledge of your stressors.
Benefits of a personal trainer
Next to finding a registered dietician who specializes in diabetes, finding a personal trainer can be a great asset to help you manage diabetes with exercise. A personal trainer can help motivate and encourage you to lose weight and get fit. A vital quality in a trainer will include someone with experience working with diabetes patients. They will be able to understand your goals better and develop an appropriate exercise routine specific to your age or physical limitations. Bonus, your trainer may even help you monitor and maintain your weight loss and exercise goals!
Enhancing your care with a diabetes care team
It's important to understand that adding on the support of a care team will help to enhance the success of maintaining your health and wellness. These professionals will support your needs to prevent complications from developing. Still, ultimately it's up to you to make healthy food choices and follow the exercise routines that'll get you there.
This article is not meant to be your only knowledge source but simply one of many areas that will hopefully help you learn more about diabetic care. We encourage you to seek out other avenues for learning how to care for yourself or a loved one with this disease. Remember that it's important to take advice from trusted professionals trained in these areas. We are always here to support and encourage you in your wellness journey!
How often do you or someone else examine your feet?