How To Self-Advocate With Your Doctors
Last updated: November 2023
Living with type 2 diabetes can be a challenge, to say the least. Not only do you have to manage your nutrition and physical activity, but you also need to partner with your healthcare team to get the best care for yourself.
What does self-advocacy in diabetes care mean?
This is where self-advocacy comes in. Self-advocacy is about taking control of your diabetes management. Examples of practicing self-advocacy include asking questions, education, and lifestyle choices. Let's discuss why self-advocacy matters in diabetes management!
How do I start advocating for myself?
After a type 2 diabetes diagnosis, it can feel overwhelming. Start with education. Knowledge is power when it comes to managing diabetes. When you know more about how diabetes works, you can make informed decisions about your care as you navigate doctors' appointments.
Knowledge is power
Research is key here; there are resources available online and in print that can help you understand more about diabetes and how it impacts your body and overall health.
Knowledge is especially important if you choose to work with an endocrinologist or other specialists. Being prepared with questions for your doctor can help ensure that you get the best care possible.
What questions can I ask my doctor?
Some questions that you can ask an endocrinologist or other healthcare specialist at your next appointment are:
- What treatment would you recommend for someone who is struggling to manage their blood sugar levels?
- Are there any lifestyle changes I can make to help improve my blood sugar?
- What are the long-term health risks associated with uncontrolled diabetes?
- Am I at higher risk for certain health conditions? How can I manage these risks?
- How often should I see an endocrinologist now that I have diabetes?
- Are there any recent advancements in diabetes care that you are hopeful about?
How can I ask for a certain treatment plan?
Self-advocacy means taking control of your own treatment plan, which includes knowing what medications or therapies are right for you and monitoring them closely. You're the one living with diabetes every day, so you know better than anyone else what works for you!
In addition to asking questions, keep track of any changes in your symptoms or treatments over time. Speak up if something doesn't feel right. It's important to stay on top of any changes in your diabetes and ensure your treatment plan is still working for you.
How do my choices impact my diabetes?
Finally, self-advocacy involves making healthy choices every day. Lifestyle choices that impact diabetes include nutrition, regular exercise, proper sleep, stress management, and monitoring blood sugar.
In addition to helping keep blood sugar levels under control, lifestyle habits can also reduce complications associated with diabetes, such as obesity or high blood pressure. Being mindful of each choice throughout the day will help ensure that diabetes doesn't take over your life!
How can I feel more empowered about my care?
Self-advocacy is essential when managing type 2 diabetes because it gives individuals the power they need to take control of their healthcare decisions and make healthy choices every day.
Self-advocacy means having a shared responsibility in your care between you and your healthcare team. This can empower you to stick to the daily habits that support your diabetes and overall health.
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