Your Diabetes Care Team
Dentist: People with diabetes are at somewhat greater, and earlier, risk of gum disease. The excess blood sugar in your mouth makes it a nice home for bacteria, which can lead to infection. You should see your dentist every 6 months. Be sure to tell your dentist that you have diabetes.
Exercise trainer: No matter what kind of diabetes you have, exercise should play a major role in managing it. The best person to plan your fitness program, along with your doctor, is someone trained in the scientific basis of exercise and in safe conditioning methods.
How Often Should I See My Doctor?
People with diabetes who use insulin shots usually see their doctor at least every 3 to 4 months. People who take pills or who are managing their diabetes through diet alone should have an appointment at least every 4 to 6 months.
You may need to go more often if your blood sugar isn't controlled or if your complications are getting worse.
What Does My Doctor Need to Know?
Generally, your doctor wants to understand how well your diabetes is controlled and whether diabetic complications are starting or getting worse. Therefore, at each visit, give your doctor your home blood sugar monitoring record and tell him about any symptoms of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or hyperglycemia (high blood sugar).
Also let your doctor know about any changes in your diet, exercise, or medicines and any new illnesses you may have gotten. Tell your doctor if you've had symptoms of eye, nerve, kidney, or cardiovascular problems such as:
- Blurred vision
- Numbness or tingling in your feet
- Persistent hand, feet, face, or leg swelling
- Cramping or pain in the legs
- Shortness of breath
- Numbness or weakness on one side of your body
Unusual weight gain
What Lab Tests Should I Have?
When you have diabetes, you should get regular lab tests:
You may need thyroid and liver tests, too.