Visiting Your Health Care Team
When you have diabetes, it is important that you get good medical care. Now that it's clear that high blood sugar (glucose) levels play a role in many complications, your doctor's skill is more vital than ever. Good care helps you live a full life with as few complications as possible.
But what is good care? The American Diabetes Association provides standards of medical care for people with diabetes. These guidelines give the most up-to-date information on taking care of your diabetes. Also, the guidelines let you know what to expect from your doctor and health care team.
The Team Approach
You should be receiving your diabetes care from a team put together by your doctor. Diabetes is complicated. Your doctor alone cannot be an expert in every area. For this reason, your diabetes care team may include an eye doctor, nurses, and a dietitian. Depending on what complications you have, your doctor may send you to other specialists as well, such as a foot doctor.
Too-high levels of glucose in the blood are a feature of all forms of diabetes. The main goal of diabetes treatment is to bring glucose levels down to as close to normal as is safely possible. How far down? The Association's Clinical Practice Recommendations state 70-130 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) before meals. Your doctor may set different targets for you, depending on other factors, such as how often you have low blood glucose reactions. Most aspects of your treatment plan — measuring your glucose levels, taking diabetes pills or insulin shots, exercising, losing weight, planning meals -- are aimed at helping you reach your target glucose level.
High glucose levels can affect many parts of the body. They can lead to eye, nerve, and kidney diseases. High glucose levels also make it easier to get infections. They can blur your vision or make you feel tired or thirsty all the time. People with diabetes also are more likely to develop other health problems, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol and fat levels, and heart disease.
As you can see, keeping your glucose levels under control is vital to your future health and happiness. Your team can advise you on ways to reach this goal. But much rests on your shoulders. For this reason, your treatment team should spend a lot of time teaching you about diabetes and how to make diabetes care part of your life.
Check out our parent mentor volunteer program full of parents just like you!
Become a Red Strider! Know someone with diabetes? Walk for them!
Every dollar you give can be doubled until May 15th to help Stop Diabetes!
Scroll through our calendar of EXPOs to find out when there will be one near you.
Ditch the chips! We've got recipes for eight healthy snacks you'll love to eat.
Learn what BIG discounts on auto insurance may await you.
Get motivated with our newly revised “I Hate to Exercise” book
Subscribe to our blog! It’s the best way to see what we’re up to at the Association.
If you have diabetes, join us for the ride!
Order your Diabetes Forecast® today! 25 Tips to healthy living. Click here to start.
Check out our site full of vegetarian meal planning ideas!
Find your local office to get involved in your community.
A new tool to increase the convenience of portion management
Get recipes, tips and more! Join the conversation!
Learn more about Dribble to Stop Diabetes