Steps to Balance

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  • Why It’s Important
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  • Understanding Medication
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  • Why It’s Important
  • Doing It My Way
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    • Body Mass Index
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Steps to Balance  
 

diabetes management

Why It's
Important

Managing your type 2 diabetes isn’t an easy job. You need to monitor your blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and cholesterol. Eat right. Exercise regularly. And take your medicine as prescribed. Add that to your work and home responsibilities—and you pretty much have your hands full. But you don’t have to deal with your type 2 diabetes alone.

Your doctor, family, and friends are a great source of support. Use the information in this section to learn how to build a support network.

  • Building
    Your Team

    Who should be on your core diabetes care team? When should you consult a specialist? Learn how your diabetes care team can help you manage your diabetes.

    Primary team

    Your primary team is made up of the health care practitioners you might see
    on a more regular basis. Learn more about these experts in the primary team section.

    Extended team

    Your extended team is made up of specialists you might be referred to by your primary care provider. These can include any of the more common specialists you’ll read about in the extended team section. Or, you might also be sent to a cardiologist or a kidney specialist (nephrologist).

      Want to learn more? Click on a button.

  • Building
    Your Team

    Who should be on your core diabetes care team? When should you consult a specialist? Learn how your diabetes care team can help you manage your diabetes.

     

    Primary care provider

    This is the doctor or other health care provider that you see for ongoing medical care. Most likely, he or she will be the person who refers you to the other experts on your team. Primary care providers may also include nurse practitioners and physician assistants, who often work in tandem with a doctor.

     

    Dentist

    This is a doctor who specializes in oral health care. Regular brushing and flossing are crucial to good oral health. People with type 2 diabetes are at an increased risk of gum disease. Make sure you visit your dentist every 6 months. And when you do, remind your dentist that you have type 2 diabetes. Let him or her know of any changes in your condition and any medicine you might be taking.

     

    Ophthalmologist/Optometrist (eye doctor)

    An eye doctor is an important member of the team because type 2 diabetes can affect blood vessels in the eyes. He or she will be able to see changes in your eyes, which may be caused by type 2 diabetes. If changes are found, then the eye doctor will treat the problem or refer you to another doctor with special training in that area. In general, diabetes guidelines recommend that you see your eye doctor at least once a year.

     

    Nurse educator

    This is a registered nurse who specializes in caring for and teaching people with diabetes. Often, he or she is certified in the field of diabetes. A nurse educator can guide you through the daily aspects of type 2 diabetes education and management. He or she can tell you how to make lifestyle changes; show you how to check your blood sugar levels; and much more.

    A certified diabetes educator (CDE) is specifically trained to educate and support people with type 2 diabetes. He or she will work with you to help you understand and manage your condition. CDEs will have a certification that includes passing a national test covering a variety of topics, including physiology, drug treatment, blood glucose testing, complications, mental health issues, and teaching/learning principles.

     

    Pharmacist

    Your pharmacist is an important member of your team. He or she can give you advice on medicines. Tell you how medicines might affect your blood sugar levels. And alert you to any potential drug interactions, as well as any common or severe side effects. Your pharmacist can also recommend over-the-counter medicines for colds or other minor illnesses.

  • Building
    Your Team

    Who should be on your core diabetes care team? When should you consult a specialist? Learn how your diabetes care team can help you manage your diabetes.

     

    Endocrinologist

    This is a doctor who specializes in diabetes and thyroid disease. Your doctor may refer you to an endocrinologist. Many people with type 2 diabetes may never need to see an endocrinologist in order to take good care of their diabetes.

     

    Podiatrist (foot doctor)

    This is a specialist who treats problems of the feet and lower legs. When you have
    type 2 diabetes, it is very important that you regularly check your feet for any issues. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, call your primary care provider. Your primary care provider should always check your feet at each visit. If he or she sees a problem, you may have to be referred to a podiatrist.

     

    Registered dietitian

    Trained in nutrition, registered dietitians need to pass a national exam. He or she may also have a master’s degree or be a certified diabetes educator (CDE). They can work with you to develop a meal plan to help you meet your weight loss goals, control your blood sugar levels, lower your blood pressure, and improve your cholesterol levels.

    A CDE is specifically trained to educate and support people with type 2 diabetes. He or she will work with you to help you understand and manage your condition. CDEs will have a certification that includes passing a national test covering a variety of topics, including physiology, drug treatment, blood glucose testing, complications, mental health issues, and teaching/learning principles.

Connecting With Your Doctor

Looking to control your blood sugar levels and your weight? Your doctor may be your best supporter in helping you create a type 2 diabetes treatment plan. Learn more about your partner in health care.

 stay in touch with your doctor

What can your primary care doctor help you do?

Put together a plan.

How? By working with you to create a type 2 diabetes treatment plan that’s right for you. And by helping you build a team of skilled health care professionals that can help you set realistic goals.

Set achievable goals.

When you set unrealistic goals and don’t meet them, you may feel like you’ve failed. And that can take a serious emotional toll. Your doctor can help you set realistic goals. That way, you’re more likely to meet your goals.

Need help speaking with your doctor? Print out this helpful
doctor discussion guide. You can also check out how to
track your progress.

Preparing
for Your Next Doctor Visit

Have you ever gone to the doctor and forgotten to ask an important question? Want to find out how to be better prepared at your next visit? Watch this video to see how to get ready for your next appointment.

Gathering Your Family

Would you like more people in your corner who care about you and your type 2 diabetes management plan? Do you want to learn how to help your family and friends help you? Check out this section.

  diabetes diet family support

Support can make all the difference.

Family and friends are important.

So why not teach them about your condition? Let them know why you may be counting carbs, monitoring your blood sugar levels, and increasing your activity level. The more they know, the more they can help.

If you do ask for help, be specific.

Ask the kids to help you make diabetes-friendly meals. Ask your spouse to come to your next doctor visit. Ask a neighbor to join you the next time you take a walk. Or ask a friend to go to a diabetes education class with you.

Resources

Need a little more support? Wish there was a tool that could help you keep track of your targets for the ABCs of type 2 diabetes? Want to learn how to prepare and to track your progress with each doctor visit?

 diabetes diet family support

Want to track your progress?

With your doctor’s help, set your A1C, cholesterol, and blood pressure goals.
Then track your progress with each checkup.

 

Need help starting a conversation with your doctor?

Print out our doctor discussion guide and take it to your next visit. Fill in the guide with the answers that you get from your doctor. You may not get to all of your questions in your visit. But you can ask more questions at your next visit. Or perhaps you can ask to speak to a nurse educator.



 

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