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by Kassel K

Talking to Your Doctor About Type 2 Diabetes

You have a unique medical history. Therefore, it is essential to talk with your doctor about your personal risk factors and/or experience with type 2 diabetes. By talking openly and regularly with your doctor, you can take an active role in your care.
Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to talk to your doctor:
  • Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
  • Write out your questions ahead of time, so you do not forget them.
  • Write down the answers you get, and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
  • Don't be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.
You'll likely have many questions about diabetes, and it is important to discuss them with your doctor. Here are some questions to get you started.
  • Based on my medical history, lifestyle, and family background, am I at risk for type 2 diabetes?
  • Are there changes I can make to reduce my risk?
  • Are other people in my family at risk, as well?
  • What caused my diabetes?
  • Which of the complications am I at risk for?
  • What is the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes?
  • What are realistic and healthy blood glucose and HbA1c levels for me?
  • Will I need to take medicine?
  • What medicine is best for me?
  • What benefits and side effects should I watch for from this medicine?
  • Will I need to take insulin?
  • What type of insulin will I use?
  • How do I inject the insulin?
  • Are insulin injections painful?
  • Is an insulin pen or pump appropriate for me?
  • How can I discreetly inject insulin when I am in public places or social situations?
  • What about using insulin when I travel?
  • How do I adjust my medicines for changes in eating and exercise?
  • Are there any complementary or alternative therapies I can try?
  • How do I use the blood glucose monitor and how often should I use it?
  • When was the last time I had my HbA1c levels measured?
    • What were the results and what do they mean?
    • How often should I have this test?
  • When was the last time I had a lipid profile done?
    • What were the results and what do they mean?
    • How often should I have this test?
  • How can I reduce my risk of complications?
  • How often should I be checked for complications?
  • Can you refer me to specialists to help prevent and/or manage some of the complications?
  • Are there any problems with my feet?
  • What should I do to prevent problems with my feet?
  • Are there any problems with my eyes?
  • What should I do to prevent problems with my eyes?
  • What is my blood pressure? How often should I have it checked?
  • How do I go about losing weight?
  • How can I improve my health?
  • Can you refer me to a registered dietitian to help me plan my meals?
  • Can I still eat sweets? How do I fit them into my meal plan?
  • Can I drink alcohol?
  • Do I have to eat differently than the rest of my family?
  • How can I eat when I go out to restaurants?
  • Can you recommend some cookbooks for people with diabetes?
  • Can I continue to or begin to exercise?
  • What type of exercise is best for me?
  • When should I not exercise?
  • Are there classes or programs that can help me make these lifestyle changes?
  • Can you recommend some diabetes support groups for me and for my family?
  • What can I tell my husband, children, parents, and other family members and friends about my condition?
  • How often will I need checkups?
  • What is my expected prognosis?

References

Diabetes overview. National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse website. Available at: http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/overview/index.aspx . Updated April 4, 2012. Accessed August 7, 2012.

Type 2. American Diabetes Association website. Available at: http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/type-2/?loc=DropDownDB-type2 . Accessed August 7, 2012.

Revision Information

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