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care doctor (usually an
internist or a
family medicine doctor) is responsible for the
day-to-day medical management of your
diabetes. He or she also may coordinate your diabetes care. Or a nurse practitioner, nurse educator, or
physician assistant may coordinate your
Your health professional will help you find the right oral
medicine and possibly
insulin to regulate your blood sugar (glucose) level.
He or she also will help you adjust medicines as your diabetes changes. For
this reason, it is very important that you notify your health professional if
your symptoms change.
Most primary care doctors are excellent at
managing diabetes. But if your symptoms get worse or if you have
complications, you may need to see a specialist—a doctor who has additional
training in a particular field. You should see some specialists, such as an
ophthalmologist and podiatrist, regularly. These specialists provide care to
prevent eye and foot complications from diabetes.
specialists, such as cardiologists (heart specialists), nephrologists (kidney
specialists), or orthopedic surgeons (bone, muscle, and joint specialists), are
seen only when a specific complication arises. For some people who have diabetes,
it is important to see these specialists at least once a year so they can
monitor the complication.
How often seen
Treats complex cases of diabetes with
difficult-to-control blood glucose levels
Sometimes regular visits, or as treatment problems arise, such as you
cannot stay within a
target range and hemoglobin A1c levels are
higher than desired
Ophthalmologist or optometrist
Monitors your eyes for diabetes complications
and treats any vision problems
Treats brain and nerve disorders, such as
Helps you monitor your feet and treats any
complications, such as foot ulcers
As needed for foot problems. Have your primary
care doctor examine your feet once a year.
Other health professionals who may be involved in your diabetes care
Current as of:
June 4, 2014
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & David C.W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
To learn more, visit Healthwise.org
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