A Team to Help You Manage Your Diabetes
You do not have to deal with diabetes by yourself. Your health care provider and others on your health care team can help you manage your diabetes.
Finding the right team of skilled health professionals will help you manage your diabetes and get the most out of the health care system.
Your office visits are a great time for you to work together with your team to create a plan to manage your diabetes. Your diabetes care plan will not be the same as everyone else’s. Working closely and talking honestly with your health care team is the best way to plan treatment goals that are right for you.
Your health care team
The following information is about your health care team and what they can do to help you manage your diabetes and other related health problems. You are an important member of your health care team. In addition, your team may include:
Primary care provider (health care provider)
Your primary care provider is also called a PCP. A PCP may be a general practitioner, internist, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant. This is the person who you probably see most often. A PCP sees patients who have all kinds of health problems. You may see this person when you need a checkup, are sick with the flu, or have a backache that will not go away. Your PCP keeps most of your medical records. He or she sends you to other doctors or specialists and health care providers when you need it.
An endocrinologist is a specialist who takes care of people with diabetes.
An ophthalmologist is an eye doctor. This is the specialist who diagnoses and treats eye problems. This eye doctor can also do some surgery.
An optometrist is a specialist who prescribes glasses and contact lenses. He or she can diagnose and treat certain eye conditions and diseases. Make sure you visit your eye doctor at least 1 time every year.
A podiatrist is a specialist who treats foot problems. He or she can help you keep your feet healthy and give you regular foot exams and treatment. Make sure you visit your foot doctor if you have any problems. Visit your foot doctor at least 1 time every year.
A dentist diagnoses and treats diseases of the mouth and teeth. See your dentist at least every 6 months.
A diabetes educator teaches people about diabetes and helps keep it under control. Diabetes educators with extra training are called certified diabetes educators or CDEs.
A registered dietitian or licensed nutritionist teaches people with diabetes how to plan meals. He or she also helps with weight control. A registered dietitian may also be a CDE.
A pharmacist prepares medicine for people. He or she can give you information about your medicines. Make sure you ask your pharmacist any questions you have about your medicines.
- Other health care providers you may see
- Nephrologist (a kidney doctor)
- Cardiologist (a heart doctor)
- Dermatologist (a skin doctor)
Ask your health care provider if you need to see any of these specialists or other health care providers.