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 glucose (blood sugar) 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 publishes our annual Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes. These guidelines give professionals the most up-to-date information on taking care of your diabetes. Our Standards of Medical Care for People with Diabetes brochure will help you understand what to expect at visits to your doctor.
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 blood glucose levels as close to normal as is safely possible. Your doctor will set give you targets that are right for you, depending on factors, such as how long you have had diabetes. 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. Learn more about complications.
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.