If you have diabetes, you have plenty of company. The number of adults diagnosed with diabetes is increasing daily. You your family and friends and your healthcare team can help you.
Diabetes affects almost every part of your body and in many complex ways. Having a team to help you stay as healthy and vital as possible will help. Think of these professionals as partners in your care.
Your healthcare support team
|At your doctor’s office –
Your doctor (GP General Practitioner) and Nurses
|Your doctor coordinates your healthcare needs.
The team of nurses will help with information and guiding you in your self care.
It is important to attend all appointments with your doctor or nurse for review of your health and any tests that are required. You can also ask your nurse to recommend other professionals such as a registered dietitian.
|Pharmacist||If you are taking medication your pharmacist can help you with explanations about how the medications work.|
(trained in diabetes care)
|A registered dietitian (trained in diabetes care) can work with you to determine an appropriate meal plan for you, based on your weight goals, the mediations you take, and other factors. Even if you have had diabetes for a while, consider talking with dietitian. As you age, your nutritional needs can change.|
|Podiatrist – professional foot care||Unmanaged blood glucose may lead to poor blood flow, sores, and infections in the feet and lower legs. A podiatrist can identify potential problems before they become more serious and advise you on your self care. If you have numbness, tingling in your feet, or pain, particularly at night, please see your healthcare professional (doctor, nurse or podiatrist).|
|Dentist||With diabetes there is an increased risk of gum disease and mouth infections. Plan to see your dentist twice a year for regular visits. Be sure your dentist and hygienist know you have diabetes. Let your dentist or hygienist know about your blood glucose levels and keep them informed of any changes in your condition and any medication you are taking.|
|Eye screening – referred by your doctor||Diabetes can seriously affect the blood vessels in the eyes and lead to blindness. Unfortunately, once the symptoms are apparent, the damage is usually irreversible.|
You are the most important member of the team
You have an important role as team leader. Studies have shown that people who play an active role in their health care are more likely to have better health outcomes.
You are the one to stay on top of -
- Taking daily medications
- Healthy eating
- Controlling weight, blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol
- Getting active and exercising
- Keeping appointments for regular visits with your healthcare team
Help your health care team make a diabetes care plan that will work for you. Developing a take-charge attitude can help you avoid some of the serious complications that can come with unmanaged diabetes.