When you first find out you have been diagnosed with Type II Diabetes, you may feel overwhelmed and overloaded with information. There is so much to understand about your body and self-care, that you may forget to ask about the basics!
Once you’ve had time to process your diagnosis, it is important to ask your doctor, nurse or registered dietitian the right questions so you understand exactly what is happening to your body, and how to properly care for yourself.
Many people find it helpful to bring a list of questions with them to their doctor’s appointment to make sure all of their concerns are covered. It is important to understand the basics about blood sugar management, medications, and lifestyle modifications. Here are some key questions on these topics that you may want to add to your question list:
Blood sugar questions.
- What is a good goal blood sugar range for me?
- What times of day should I check my blood sugar?
- For what blood sugar readings (high & low) should I call the doctor or nurse?
- How important is it to check my blood glucose levels after meals?
- What does the HbA1c lab result mean for me?
- What are good cholesterol and triglyceride ranges for me?
- Can I get a referral to a registered dietitian nutritionist to help me improve my labs before starting medication?
What to do when you are sick.
- How does being sick affect my blood sugar levels?
- Should I change the way I eat, drink, or take medications when I am sick?
- How often should I check my blood sugar levels while I am sick?
Get to know your medications.
- What is the function of each medication I am on?
- What is the best time to take each medication?
- What are some of the side effects I should watch out for?
- What do I do if I forget to take my medicine?
- How do I know that the medicines are working or not working?
- What I can I do to eventually get off of my medications?
Taking care of your feet.
- How frequently should I check my feet for wounds and ulcers?
- What is the best way to care for my feet to prevent diabetic foot ulcers?
- How can I better manage my blood sugar through nutrition and exercise?
- Where can I learn more about lifestyle management of diabetes?
- Is there anything I should watch out for when exercising for longer periods of time?
- Could I see a registered dietitian nutritionist or registered nurse to learn more about managing this disease through lifestyle changes? (Request to see a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE), as they are more experienced and educated on the topic.)
With all of the information you will be receiving, it is important to stay organized by saving all medical records in a designated file and keeping it in the same spot in the house. There is nothing more stressful than having to look through piles of papers to find your latest lab values! To make it easy for you to get in touch with your health care providers, keep a sheet of paper with all the names of your health care team in the file. Your health care team may include your physician, nurse, dietitian, and in some cases, a care manager. Don’t forget, if you have diabetes, you are recommended to see a doctor at least twice a year. Finding out more about your diabetes can lead to better management – it’s time to take more control back in your life!