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    Your Diabetes Care Team

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    Your health care team helps you manage your diabetes and maintain your good health. According to the American Diabetes Association, your diabetes care team should include:

    You: You are the most important member of your diabetes care team! Only you know how you feel. Your diabetes care team will depend on you to talk to them honestly and supply information about your body.

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    Monitoring your blood sugar tells your doctors whether your current treatment is controlling your diabetes well. By checking your blood sugar levels, you can also prevent or reduce the episodes of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) you have.

    Primary doctor: Your primary care doctor is who you see for general checkups and when you get sick. This person is usually an internist or family medicine doctor who has experience treating people with diabetes, too.

    Because your primary care doctor is your main source of care, he or she will most likely head up your diabetes care team.

    Endocrinologist: An endocrinologist is a doctor who has special training and experience in treating people with diabetes. You should see yours regularly.

    Dietitian: A registered dietitian (RD) is trained in the field of nutrition. Food is a key part of your diabetes treatment, so yours will help you figure out your food needs based on your weight, lifestyle, medication, and other health goals (like lowering blood fat levels or blood pressure).

    Nurse educator: A diabetes educator or diabetes nurse practitioner is a registered nurse (RN) with special training and background in caring for and teaching people with diabetes. Nurse educators often help you with the day-to-day aspects of living with diabetes.

    Eye doctor: Either an ophthalmologist (a doctor who can treat eye problems both medically and surgically) or an optometrist (someone who is trained to examine the eye for certain problems, such as how well the eye focuses; optometrists are not medical doctors) should check your eyes at least once a year. Diabetes can affect the blood vessels in the eyes, which can lead to losing your sight.

    Podiatrist: For anyone with diabetes, which can cause nerve damage in the extremities, foot care is important. A podiatrist is trained to treat feet and problems of the lower legs. These doctors have a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) degree from a college of podiatry. They have also done a residency (hospital training) in podiatry.

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