Being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes is life-changing, and feeling overwhelmed with questions about your diabetes is common. Making the most of your time with you doctor is important so that you can better understand your condition and treatment. The best way to do this is to go to your appointment prepared. That means being armed with a list of questions and concerns and having a pen and paper or even your phone or tablet on hand to take down information.
Before discussing anything else, your doctor will want to know how you’ve been feeling. Keep track of your symptoms by writing them down. Be sure to include those that may not even seem to be related to the diabetes, as type 2 diabetes can raise your risk of other health issues, such as heart attack and stroke.
The following are points you should bring up with your doctor:
- any new symptoms that you may be experiencing since your last appointment
- how often they happen and the severity
- any potential triggers, such as certain foods that seem to bring on the symptoms
As one of the most important parts of your treatment, having a thorough understanding of glucose monitoring is must. You will want to get the following information:
- how often you need to check your blood sugar
- what your ideal range should be
- how to use the information to manage your diabetes
Risks and Complications
As mentioned, your risk of developing other conditions may increase as a result of your diabetes. For this reason it is important to discuss these risks with your doctor. Use the following discussion points:
- what other medical conditions you should be concerned about
- what tests may be required to check for these other problems, such as EKG for heart problems or blood tests to check kidney function and cholesterol
- signs and symptoms that you should be aware of, such as those of low blood sugar, heart problems, and foot problems like neuropathy and ulcers
Medication and even insulin is likely to play a big part in your diabetes management. Be sure to ask your doctor:
- what kind of medicine you will need and when you should take it
- if you will need insulin
- whether or not your other medications and conditions will be affected by your diabetes medication
Your lifestyle will play an important role in the management of your diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, diet and exercise can help you control your blood glucose, help you lose weight, and lower blood pressure and cholesterol. It can also improve blood flow and reduce your risk of heart disease and nerve damage, which are possible complications for people with diabetes.
Ask your doctor about the types of changes that you should be making to your diet and whether or not you should be referred to a dietician. Also ask about exercise and how much you should get based on your health and needs.
Other Discussion Points
There are likely to be other concerns and questions that come up over time in addition to those listed above. Always write down your concerns as soon as they come up so that you don’t forget to bring it up at your next appointment.
The National Diabetes Education Program suggests asking your doctor about your children’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes and steps that your children and even your grandchildren can take to lower their risk.
Finally, remember that your doctor is there to help you. Speak openly about your concerns and ask about support and other resources to help you cope with your diagnosis and treatment.