Your Doctor Visit

Diabetes is an especially challenging disease, so it's important for those with diabetes to have a good working relationship with their physician. These are recommendations from the American Diabetes Association to help manage diabetes:

  • Have regular checkups with your health care provider every three months if you take insulin or have complications
  • Schedule a routine office visit to include a blood glucose test, urine test, blood pressure check, weight management and foot exam
  • Obtain an A1C blood test (two-to-three-month average blood sugar) every three to six months
  • Have an annual blood/urine test for kidney function (checking for microalbumin and creatinine), a lipid panel (total cholesterol, LDL, HDL and triglycerides) and a flu vaccination
  • Have at least one pneumonia vaccination after diagnosis
  • Have a yearly dilated eye exam from your eye care specialist

Those who have diabetes should discuss with their health care provider what constitutes an emergency and how best to proceed when the unexpected occurs. Problems such as hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) may be able to be treated at home. This is best to discuss with your physician before it occurs.

Every visit with your health care provider should include a discussion of your prescription medications. Some have side effects that can cause disruptions in lifestyle -- or worse. It's a good idea to review a list of all your medications and have them written on a card that you carry with you.

Good communication is essential for any good relationship. The relationship between a physician and a patient is so much more beneficial when both individuals can sit down, ask questions and learn from each other. If blood glucose monitoring is part of your diabetes care, take your records with you to each visit. That just might be the start of getting the most out of your doctor's visit.

The information on this page was compiled by Karen McLaughlin, RN, CDE, diabetes educator. This material provides general information only. It should not be used in place of the advice, instructions, or treatment given by your doctor or other health care professional.