If you are a person living with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you are probably aware of the potential health complications that we face. The good news is with the right treatment and a healthy lifestyle, we can often prolong or even eliminate some of these risk factors. In order to do so, it is imperative that we stay on top of our health and make sure we are responsible with our diabetes care. Routinely seeing our team of doctors can help ensure we are being proactive with our health.
Here are five doctors you should consider seeing annually. Your overall health and diabetes will be better for it!
Primary Care Physician
While this doctor won’t be the one you see the most, this is the doctor that can be the central hub of your diabetes care team. Having a primary care physician in your corner will help ensure that you are seeing the right specialists and getting the right care. They will also be the one to see when you get sick, which we know can be a little more challenging for people with diabetes.
Some people see their endocrinologist more than others. Many have been managing their own diabetes for years and just see their endo or PCP for prescription refills. Others, like myself, like to go every 3 months for a check-in as well as a blood workup to see how well I am managing my diabetes. They can examine and treat thyroid disorders as well. I use my appointment as a chance to discuss what’s working, what’s not and what I would like to do differently. I recently switched up some of my medication and am doing much better because of it!
Over time, diabetes can lead to nerve damage which can cause one to lose feeling in their limbs (neuropathy). If you are unaware of a cut or sore on your foot and it is left treated, it can lead to infection, which can be very serious, especially since people with diabetes may heal at a slower pace. By seeing your podiatrist regularly, they can detect issues early on and treat them accordingly.
Another potential complication of diabetes is gum disease. The excess of sugar builds up over time and can breed bacteria which can lead to infection. Going to your dentist for a cleaning and check-up twice a year is a good idea and they will check for signs of gum disease and other relevant issues.
Whether you see an ophthalmologist or an optometrist, it is vital for your long term vision. Over time, diabetes can damage the blood vessels in our eyes leading to retinopathy and even blindness. We are also more susceptible to other issues of the eye such as glaucoma and cataracts. By seeing an eye doctor annually, you can stay on top of your eye care and catch and treat any issues early on.
Finally, consider your mental health, too. It is crucial to living well with diabetes, although not everyone will feel that they need a therapist. Check out this article to learn more about adding a mental health professional to your care team.
Be smart and make yourself a priority. It can be so easy to put these appointments off. We all are busy and these appointments aren’t always cheap. But we must remember taking the time to be smart and responsible now can save us from issues down the road.
Are you diligent about seeing your doctors annually? Any advice on how to stay on top of it? Please share and comment below!
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