New to Diabetes: What to Ask Your Doctor

It's hard to ask questions about a topic you're unfamiliar with, such as a new diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.

However, there are certain questions every diabetic should have an answer for when they leave the physician’s office.

Questions To Ask the Doctor

Consider taking pen and paper or a digital tablet to the appointment with you to record important details.

Lifestyle Questions

  • What changes in diet do I need to make?
  • Do I need to consult with a dietician to help with meal planning?
  • Where can I find out about counting carbohydrates in food? Are there different ways of managing carbohydrates?
  • How much exercise is good for me? What types of exercise?

Monitoring Glucose

  • How often should I check my blood sugar?
  • What is the target or goal range for my blood sugar?
  • How does monitoring my glucose help me manage my diabetes? How do I use the glucose readings?

Medications and Insulin

  • Do I need medication? If I do, what kind and how much? How will that medication help me?
  • What time of day do I take the medication?
  • Will I need to take insulin?
  • What’s the best way to manage diabetes with my other medical conditions? Will my other medications interfere?

Managing Diabetes

  • I know there can be complications with diabetes, are there specialists I should see?
  • Are there any informative websites you recommend or any written materials you can give me?
  • Do you know of any resources that help pay for diabetes supplies?
  • What are the signs of low blood sugar and how do I address them?
  • What are the signs of high blood sugar and how do I address them?
  • How do I check for ketones and when should I test for them?

What the Doctor May Ask You

Your physician will naturally have some questions for you to answer. Before your appointment, it may be helpful to write down any problems or symptoms (diabetes or other) you are experiencing; sometimes important information slips the mind while visiting a doctor.

Your doctor may want to know:

  • If you understand the treatment plan and are confident you can carry it out.
  • How well you are coping with diabetes.
  • Whether you have experienced symptoms of low or high blood sugar.
  • What your diet is like on a typical day.
  • Whether you are getting exercise.
  • What, if any, difficulties you are having with managing diabetes.

If questions or concerns come up between doctor visits, call your doctor or diabetes educator.

Source: Mayo Clinic
Photo credit: Oliver Symens / flickr creative commons

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