Meet your Endocrinologist! Going to the "Diabetes Doctor"

You’ve been dropped a bomb. You’ve been diagnosed with diabetes. Your Primary Care Physician (PCP) tells you that your hemoglobin A1c test is over that of the average percentage that it should be: 6.5 or under.

Because of this, the doctor wants you to closely monitor your blood sugars, start an exercise program and come back for a visit every three to six months.

But wait! Did you know there is a specialist who studies diseases and hormone disorders like diabetes? They’re called endocrinologists and they’re trained physicians who can diagnose diseases related to the glands and hormones. And what do you know-- the pancreas is a gland which produces the insulin hormone.

What do I talk to a specialist about?

When going to see a specialist, especially an endocrinologist, it’s best to be an open book. Hormones, or lack thereof, can affect every part of your body. From feelings and emotions to weight issues and uncontrollable blood sugar levels, these doctors are familiar with almost all of it.

Topics to discuss with your specialist:

  • Are there any new treatments available? Specialists should know what is coming down the road and what’s available to patients like you. Additionally, sharing your glucose meter readings, food diary and anything else you track may help your specialist in making decisions about your treatment.
  • Questions regarding your medication. Whether you’re taking shots of insulin or oral medications or even a combination of both to control your diabetes, it’s important that you understand how it’s administered and how it’s supposed to affect you.
  • What your job entails. Do you sit most of the day or are you able to walk around? Is it a stressful job? Are you happy?
  • Your treatment and any repercussions. Have you felt shaky at night? Do you find that your blood sugars are high even though you take your medication? Tell the doctor to help create a plan for taking your medications.
  • How you’re feeling on a day-to-day basis. Are you more tired than usual? Do you feel hyper or anxious? If you don’t have good reasons for feeling this way, talk about it.
  • Your feelings overall about your disease. Do you feel like you’re managing your diabetes OK? What would make it easier to manage your diabetes? What do you need to know from the doctor so that you’re better informed?

Why should I see a specialist?

Diabetes is a disease that doesn’t only affect glands and hormones, but complications can affect the entire body. While primary care doctors know enough about the human body, endocrinologists are extremely familiar with the complicated endocrine system that affects respiration, metabolism, reproduction, sensory perception, movement, sexual development and growth.

Here are a few reasons why you should consider seeing an endocrinologist:

  • Since treatments are always changing, endocrinologists typically know the up-to-date treatments and technologies that can apply to your case. They will have the latest treatments for such conditions.
  • A lot of times, diseases like diabetes are not so easy to manage. It takes a lot of care and maintenance to make sure you’re as healthy as possible and not disrupting your day-to-day living. To make sure that treatments work and that everything is in check, seeing an endocrinologist is your best bet.
  • These specialists know the ins and outs of your condition because of their in depth level of study. They also know the best treatments and what symptoms, if any others, to look out for.
  • Last but not least, endocrinologists work with your Primary Care Physicians to ensure that you’re in top health. Just because you go to a specialist does not mean that you’ll never see your PCP again. You’re just making sure you’re covered on all fronts.

When diagnosed with something like diabetes, your top priority should be to make sure you’re in the best health you can be.

The more you tell your specialist, the better they can help you manage your disease. They’re there to serve you and make sure you’re living your best life. Also, if you don’t feel comfortable with your doctor, you have every right to find a new one that you feel comfortable with. We can help you with Provider Finder.

If you have any other questions, drop us a line! We’re here to help, too!

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