What Diabetes Docs Want You To Know

What Diabetes Docs Want You To Know

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Medically Reviewed By William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS

Written By Cindy Kuzma on August 31, 2020

Insight from the Diabetes Experts

Whether you have type 1, type 2, or gestational diabetes, the success of your treatment plan depends on a good collaboration with your diabetes doctor. Here, we asked specialists in this condition—which occurs when your body either can’t produce or can’t use the hormone insulin to process blood sugar—for the lowdown on getting the best diabetes care.

1. “Expect me to be nosy.”

“I ask patients questions about how diabetes has affected them, in addition to how it is affecting their blood glucose levels,” says endocrinologist Richard Shewbridge, MD. Diabetes causes changes throughout your entire body, including your feet, your skin, your mood, and your sexual organs. Tell your doctor about all your health issues—even ones that are difficult to talk about or don’t seem related, like depression or erectile dysfunction. Treatment can help relieve them.

2. “I need to know the truth about your daily habits.”

Come clean about your diet and exercise routine, says endocrinologist Scott Isaacs, MD. If you fib about what you’re eating or how often you’re active, you’re the one whose health may ultimately suffer. “Doctors are not ‘just about the medicines’—we would rather help patients make smarter choices in these areas,” says Dr. Shewbridge.

3. “It’s never too late to make lifestyle changes.”

If you have type 2 diabetes, losing just 7% of your body weight—that’s 12 to 13 pounds, if you weigh 180—can dramatically improve your health, says endocrinologist Osama Hamdy, MD, PhD. Typically, you can do this through diet and exercise. And although weight loss and other healthy changes may be most effective soon after your diagnosis, you can reap the benefits no matter when you begin.

4. “Don’t believe everything you read or hear.”

Diabetes information is everywhere—blogs, online forums, small talk with friends and family, terrifying lawyer ads on TV. Keep in mind that everyone’s situation is different and some sources are more reliable than others, Dr. Isaacs says. Your diabetes care team can guide you toward the truth and help you make the best choices for your health.

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