Make the Most of Your Diabetes Care Team
There is more to managing your diabetes than taking your medicines. Healthy eating, being active, and tracking your numbers are also important parts of a complete diabetes care plan.
Your diabetes care team includes a group of health care providers who specialize in different kinds of diabetes-related care. They can help give you the support you need to manage your diabetes.
Primary care physician (primary health care provider) or endocrinologist
Works with you to create a care plan depending on the progression of your diabetes. Also helps you make necessary treatment changes and refers you to other members of your diabetes care team when you need it
Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE)
Helps you understand how your medicines work, how to check your blood sugar, how to take care of problems with your medicine, and how to make meal and activity plans
Works with you to create a meal plan that fits your needs and preferences
Eye care professional (ophthalmologist or optometrist)
Gives you an eye exam (usually once a year) to check for diabetes-related eye problems
Foot doctor (podiatrist)
A foot doctor checks your feet and treats foot problems. Diabetes can make you prone to poor blood flow and nerve damage in the legs and feet, which may lead to problems.
Provides you with your medicines and answers questions about how to take them
Mental health professional
Mental health professionals can be social workers, clinical psychologists, or psychiatrists and may help you deal with emotional problems.
Specializes in preventing, diagnosing, and managing cardiovascular disorders, which are more common for people with diabetes.
Specializes in the treatment of kidney disease, a common complication for people with diabetes.
The role of your diabetes care team is to make sure that you receive the best and most current diabetes care. But the most important person on your diabetes care team is you. Your role is to make sure your care plan meets your needs and that you can follow it. Together, you and your team will work to adjust your diabetes care plan so it fits your needs and goals.
If you don’t have some of these specialists on your team and you need more help, ask your health care provider for a referral.
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