How Can I Adjust My Care Between Visits
Seeing the doctor and asking them questions consists of less than 1% of the time you live with your diabetes, and you need to know what to do on the fly if you have an issue.
Say youre sick and need to vastly increase the amount of insulin youre taking or training for a marathon and are suddenly extremely insulin sensitive.
This is the ideal time to ask your endocrinologist when and how you can adjust your insulin doses and corrections factors yourself, versus when they would be more comfortable guiding you through any necessary changes.
Its also helpful to know how available your doctors office will be. Can you contact them between visits for quick guidance or advice? Do they answer the phone on weekends? Do they email, text, or use a patient portal? How can you reach them in an emergency?
These are all great questions to ask and something youll definitely need to know for optimal care.
Whats The Best Thing I Can Do Right Now To Prevent Complications
If your hba1c and general diabetes management do not align with your goals, its time to make an action plan with your doctor. Ask them what you can do today to prevent complications in the future.
Maybe its switching up your morning routine to fit in a regular walk, maybe its cutting out added sugar on weeknights, or foregoing fast food entirely. Whatever the advice is, make sure you can stick with it and that it will fit into your lifestyle and goals for the long-run.
The best time to start preventing diabetes complications is always yesterday. The next best time is now.
Bring these questions and ideas to your next endocrinologist appointment to make the most of your time. Evolved diabetes management starts with asking good questions, so make sure youre prepared and ready to take charge of your diabetes health!
How Is Diabetes Treated
Diabetes can be treated in several ways. Diet, physical activity, and careful monitoring are important if you have diabetes, no matter which type of diabetes you have.
If you have type 1 diabetes, you will need to take insulin for the rest of your life. Thats because your pancreas doesnt produce the insulin your body needs.
If you have type 2 diabetes, it may be possible to control your diabetes with lifestyle changes, such as diet, weight loss, and exercise. You may also need to take oral or injectable medications, including insulin or metformin, to manage your blood sugar levels.
If you have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, youll need to carefully track your diet to prevent your blood sugar levels from getting too high. This generally means watching your carbohydrate intake as well as limiting over-processed, low fiber foods, such as:
- sugary sodas
- fruit-flavored yogurt
- flavored coffee drinks
Your doctor will work closely with you to develop a treatment plan to help you control your blood sugar levels.
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What Is Diabetic Ketoacidosis
Diabetic ketoacidosis is a life-threatening condition. It happens when your liver breaks down fat to use as energy because theres not enough insulin and therefore glucose isnt being used as an energy source. Fat is broken down by the liver into a fuel called ketones. The formation and use of ketones is a normal process if it has been a long time since your last meal and your body needs fuel. Ketones are a problem when your fat is broken down too fast for your body to process and they build up in your blood. This makes your blood acidic, which is a condition called ketoacidosis. Diabetic ketoacidosis can be the result of uncontrolled Type 1 diabetes and less commonly, Type 2 diabetes.Diabetic ketoacidosis is diagnosed by the presence of ketones in your urine or blood and a basic metabolic panel. The condition develops over several hours and can cause coma and possibly even death.
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Who Gets Diabetes What Are The Risk Factors
Factors that increase your risk differ depending on the type of diabetes you ultimately develop.
Risk factors for Type 1 diabetes include:
- Having a family history of Type 1 diabetes.
- Injury to the pancreas .
- Exposure to illnesses caused by viruses.
Risk factors for prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes include:
- Family history of prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes.
- Being African-American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian-American race or Pacific Islander.
- Being overweight.
Risk factors for gestational diabetes include:
- Family history of prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes.
- Being African-American, Hispanic, Native American or Asian-American.
- Being overweight before your pregnancy.
- Being over 25 years of age.
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Endocrinologist To Help With Blood Glucose Management
This doctor treats diabetes and other diseases of the endocrine system, and they can be especially important if your PCP does not work with many diabetes patients. This doctor will help you manage your blood sugar. They will assess the need for a blood-sugar-lowering medication and determine the right medication and dose for you. As the American Medical Association notes, because many of these diseases including diabetes are lifelong, endocrinologists may have long and close relationships with their patients. While this is an important doctor to have on your team, know that there is a shortage of practicing endocrinologists, according to the Endocrine Society. As such, it can make waiting times for an appointment long. To find an endocrinologist specializing in diabetes in your area, the Endocrine Society has a tool to locate one by zip code and subspecialty.
When Diabetes Patient Should Visit Endocrinologist
For a diabetic patient, your doctor may ask you to visit an Endocrinologist
- If you are newly diagnosed with diabetes. In such a case the doctor may require an endocrinologist opinion on Pancreas and Insulin functioning to manage diabetes efficiently .
- When your Diabetes management has worsened. In such a situation, the endocrinologist shall help in giving insights on insulin therapy or Pancreas removal surgery.
- If you are using more insulin therapy.
- When the diabetes treatment is not effective enough.
Thus, when you are diabetic, your doctor may ask you to visit an Endocrinologist to gain proper information on the Insulin role in your body. With this understanding Insulin therapy and medicines can be properly planned for effective diabetes management.
An endocrinologist opinion is necessary for effective insulin therapy or in the case of newly diagnosed diabetes.
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How Do I Check My Blood Glucose Level Why Is This Important
Checking your blood glucose level is important because the results help guide decisions about what to eat, your physical activity and any needed medication and insulin adjustments or additions.
The most common way to check your blood glucose level is with a blood glucose meter. With this test, you prick the side of your finger, apply the drop of blood to a test strip, insert the strip into the meter and the meter will show your glucose level at that moment in time. Your healthcare provider will tell you how often youll need to check your glucose level.
Who Treats Thyroid Disease
Several types of healthcare providers can play a role in managing thyroid disease and its symptoms. Some people only see one healthcare provider for thyroid-related issues, while others have a medical team they work with to manage their disease. The types of healthcare providers you may want to consider include:
- Primary care doctors
- Holistic thyroid practitioners, including naturopaths and chiropractors
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How Often Do I Need To See My Primary Diabetes Healthcare Professional
In general, if you are being treated with insulin shots, you should see your doctor at least every three to four months. If you are treated with pills or are managing diabetes through diet, you should be seen at least every four to six months. More frequent visits may be needed if your blood sugar is not controlled or if complications of diabetes are worsening.
Finding The Right Doctor For You
Finding the right doctor can be a frustrating challenge. Our bodies’ systems are connected in complicated ways. Knowing which specialist is right for which ailment often requires time, research, and expertise. In the following slides, our experts will show you who treats what medical need, introducing many of the commonand surprisingtypes of doctors, including cardiologists, gynecologists, and bariatricians.
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How Can I Exercise Safely And Effectively
Exercise is crucial for good diabetes management, but staying motivated isnt always easy. Talk with your endocrinologist about new exercise ideas for inspiration.
Perhaps you need suggestions on how to winterize your running routine, or are recovering from an overuse injury and need fresh ideas.
You may also be new to exercise, or are struggling with extreme highs or lows from it. Make sure to ask your endocrinologist about how you can better adjust your food intake and insulin for exercise in order to thrive.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults should aim for 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, or around 30 minutes most days of the week, so work with your doctor on how to reach at least that amount of exercise every week.
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Diabetes is a common condition affecting the lives of millions of Americans every day. A chronic condition, diabetes is long-term and cannot be cured. Diabetes can also lead to health complications, such as diabetic wounds and neuropathy. Fortunately, diabetes can be managed to lead a good quality of life.
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Why Is My Blood Glucose Level High How Does This Happen
The process of digestion includes breaking down the food you eat into various different nutrient sources. When you eat carbohydrates , your body breaks this down into sugar . When glucose is in your bloodstream, it needs help a “key” to get into its final destination where it’s used, which is inside your body’s cells . This help or “key” is insulin.
Insulin is a hormone made by your pancreas, an organ located behind your stomach. Your pancreas releases insulin into your bloodstream. Insulin acts as the key that unlocks the cell wall door, which allows glucose to enter your bodys cells. Glucose provides the fuel or energy tissues and organs need to properly function.
If you have diabetes:
- Your pancreas doesnt make any insulin or enough insulin.
- Your pancreas makes insulin but your bodys cells dont respond to it and cant use it as it normally should.
If glucose cant get into your bodys cells, it stays in your bloodstream and your blood glucose level rises.
What Should My Blood Glucose Level Be
Ask your healthcare team what your blood glucose level should be. They may have a specific target range for you. In general, though, most people try to keep their blood glucose levels at these targets:
- Before a meal: between 80 and 130 mg/dL.
- About two hours after the start of a meal: less than 180 mg/dL.
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What Is Thyroid Disease
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland at the front of your throat. It produces hormones that are crucial to many bodily functions, including growth, development, and metabolism. These hormones are called thyroxine and triiodothyronine . Thyroid function depends greatly on another glandthe pituitary, which monitors hormone levels and tells your thyroid how much to produce.
The pituitary exerts this control over the thyroid with the aptly named thyroid-stimulating hormone . When thyroid hormone levels drop, the pituitary releases more TSH to stimulate the thyroid to increase production.
In thyroid disease, you can end up with either too much thyroid hormonehyperthyroidismor too littlehypothyroidism. Hyperthyroidism speeds up your body’s systems and processes, while hypothyroidism slows them down, leading to opposite symptoms.
How Is Diabetes Managed
Diabetes affects your whole body. To best manage diabetes, youll need to take steps to keep your risk factors under control and within the normal range, including:
- Keep your blood glucose levels as near to normal as possible by following a diet plan, taking prescribed medication and increasing your activity level.
- Maintain your blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels as near the normal ranges as possible.
- Control your blood pressure. Your blood pressure should not be over 140/90 mmHg.
You hold the keys to managing your diabetes by:
- Planning what you eat and following a healthy meal plan. Follow a Mediterranean diet or Dash diet. These diets are high in nutrition and fiber and low in fats and calories. See a registered dietitian for help understanding nutrition and meal planning.
- Exercising regularly. Try to exercise at least 30 minutes most days of the week. Walk, swim or find some activity you enjoy.
- Losing weight if you are overweight. Work with your healthcare team to develop a weight-loss plan.
- Taking medication and insulin, if prescribed, and closely following recommendations on how and when to take it.
- Quitting smoking .
You have a lot of control on a day-to-day basis in managing your diabetes!
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What Are The Different Types Of Diabetes
The types of diabetes are:
- Type 1 diabetes: This type is an autoimmune disease, meaning your body attacks itself. In this case, the insulin-producing cells in your pancreas are destroyed. Up to 10% of people who have diabetes have Type 1. Its usually diagnosed in children and young adults . It was once better known as juvenile diabetes. People with Type 1 diabetes need to take insulin every day. This is why it is also called insulin-dependent diabetes.
- Type 2 diabetes: With this type, your body either doesnt make enough insulin or your bodys cells dont respond normally to the insulin. This is the most common type of diabetes. Up to 95% of people with diabetes have Type 2. It usually occurs in middle-aged and older people. Other common names for Type 2 include adult-onset diabetes and insulin-resistant diabetes. Your parents or grandparents may have called it having a touch of sugar.
- Prediabetes: This type is the stage before Type 2 diabetes. Your blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be officially diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.
- Gestational diabetes: This type develops in some women during their pregnancy. Gestational diabetes usually goes away after pregnancy. However, if you have gestational diabetes you’re at higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later on in life.
Less common types of diabetes include:
Diabetes insipidus is a distinct rare condition that causes your kidneys to produce a large amount of urine.
Mistakes Doctors Are Making With Diabetes
A few years back I was caring for my cousin who suffered from diabetes. During this time, I learned a lot about mistakes doctors are making with diabetes. Now, this isnt to put down doctors in any way. Doctors are people too. My cousin wasnt very good at talking to his doctor and this contributed to medical error as well.
My cousin was diagnosed in his twenties with Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes. The period of time in the 20s is a gray area between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. It can still be one or the other. It was pretty obvious it was Type 1 since there was a strong family history and we are Native American as you probably know already, Native Americans are at a greater risk for developing diabetes. We knew his diagnosis was correct, plus he needed insulin.
He had a very good physician who had been treating our entire family for endocrine disease for many years. Then, my cousin moved away and got a new job. He did the normal thing anyone would do when moving he ordered his records and found a new physician.
This led to a whole slew of miscommunications and treatment changes that led to my cousin going downhill. Here are a few things that could go wrong with your diabetes treatment:
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Are You Nervous To Meet An Endocrinologist Or Are You Wondering What An Endocrinologist Does On The First Visit Here’s What You Can Expect When You Take Your Health Into Your Own Hands
There are several reasons to visit an endocrinologist because endocrinologists not only treat a variety of diseases and certain types of cancer, but they also recommend lifestyle improvements that are good for your general well-being.
As the name suggests, an endocrinologist specializes in the endocrine system, which is responsible for hormone regulation in the body. Along with diabetes, an endocrinologist will also treat hyperthyroidism, osteoporosis, Grave’s disease, and Cushing’s disease, to name a few.
When is it time to see an endocrinologist? Once you’ve been diagnosed with an endocrine condition by a doctor, it becomes very important to schedule an appointment. Some other red flags that may warrant an endocrinologist visit include:
- Problems with your vision
- Rapid weight loss or gain
- Kidney complications
- Drastic fluctuations in blood sugar levels
- Tingling hands and feet
If you’re planning to see an endocrinologist soon, here are a few things you should expect on your visit and some pointers on how to prepare.
What You Should Expect On Your First Visit
An endocrinologist visit isn’t that different from an ordinary doctor’s visit. The visit usually entails an analysis of your medical history, a full-body examination, and blood and urine samples.
The doctor will begin by taking your vitals and assessing your weight and height. They will also check your blood sugar level if you or another member of your family has diabetes, though this doesn’t happen every time.