How to Recognize Red Flags in Diabetes Care
Living with type 2 diabetes very often gets a bad reputation! From people commenting, "Oh, you should just lose weight," to "You are lazy and have an unhealthy diet," I can't deny "bombastically side-eyeing" these naysayers. But what happens when the naysayer is part of your healthcare team?! Well, that may be the all-too-obvious red flag, a neon-lettered sign that it is time to modify who is part of your care team.
Having the right diabetes healthcare team by my side has made a significant difference in managing my condition effectively. In this article, I'll explore how I knew when it was time to change my diabetes care team.
Red flag 1: Dismissive attitudes
When I was first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, my care team consisted of a primary care physician (PCP) and a registered dietitian (RD). While my PCP seemed to have a good grasp on the medical aspects of diabetes, my RD had a dismissive attitude towards my concerns and struggles.
Whenever I mentioned difficulties with managing my blood sugar levels or following a strict diet plan to my RD, she would dismiss it as me not being disciplined enough. Her dismissiveness to my valid concerns made me feel ashamed and discouraged from seeking help when I needed it.
Red flag 2: Lack of communication
Another issue that I faced with my previous diabetes care team was their lack of communication with one another. My PCP would suggest specific treatments or adjustments in medication but would not communicate these changes to my registered dietitian.
As a result, I would receive conflicting advice and recommendations from both of them. This lack of coordination made it difficult for me to follow a consistent and effective treatment plan, not to mention hypoglycemic episodes.
Red flag 3: One-size-fits-all approach
One of the most prominent red flags for me was when my care team insisted on a one-size-fits-all approach to managing my type 2 diabetes. Despite my repeated attempts to explain that every person's body, lifestyle, and circumstances differ, they continued pushing the same generic advice and treatment plan.
This lack of personalized care not only made it difficult for me to manage my diabetes but also made me feel like I was just another number in their patient roster; this was the final straw. I knew that compassionate care was a requirement for me. This ultimately led me to find the right care team for me.
How to find the right care team for you
After encountering these red flags with my previous diabetes healthcare team, I knew it was time for a change. So, how did I find the right members of my care team? Here are a few steps that helped me in my search.
Do your research
The first step is to research and find out what providers are available in your area and covered by your insurance. Look for diabetes-specific clinics or practices with specialized physicians, nurses, and dietitians.
Ask for referrals
Reach out to friends, family, or support groups for recommendations of trusted care teams they have worked with.
Set up interviews
Set up discovery consultations with various potential care team members to get a feel for their knowledge, approach, and level of communication. I even went as far as looking for potential providers on LinkedIn.
Ensure the care team you choose aligns with your needs and preferences. This includes factors like location, insurance coverage, and compatibility.
Cultivate your care
What type of care would fit best for your lifestyle? Are you interested in holistic or medicinal-based management? Finding a care team that aligns with your values and beliefs is essential.
You deserve adequate diabetes care
Finding the right care team is crucial in effectively managing your type 2 diabetes. Be bold and make a change if you experience any red flags or feel like your current providers don't meet your needs. With the proper support and guidance, living with diabetes can become more manageable and less daunting. Stay informed, advocate for yourself, and don't be afraid to make changes when necessary. You've got this!
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