Choosing your care team
You have unique needs and your diabetes treatment plan should reflect that. The goal of a diabetes treatment plan is to manage blood sugar and prevent diabetes-related complications. Everyone’s plan is different and personal to them.
It takes a team.
Experts recommend a team approach to treating diabetes with you as the most important member. You are the one affected by the condition and taking care of it every day. You are the most important member of your diabetes care team. Making healthy choices and advocating for yourself is necessary in your journey to a healthier you.
You should also involve family members and close friends that may be helping with meal planning and preparation, joining you for exercise, going with you for doctor visits or just lending a listening ear. You may also consider looking for diabetes support groups in your area.
Your healthcare team members will depend on several factors, including the specialists you may need and what is available to you through your healthcare system.
Here are some professionals who could make up your diabetes healthcare team:
- Primary care provider: The healthcare provider you will see for general checkups or when you get sick.
- Endocrinologist: A doctor with special training in hormone diseases, such as diabetes.
- Diabetes nurse educator: A nurse with special training and experience in caring for and teaching people with diabetes and their families about diabetes.
- Registered dietitian: A professional trained in nutrition who can help you figure out how to make healthy food choices based on your nutrition needs, desired weight, lifestyle, medicines and other health goals.
- Eye doctor (ophthalmologist or optometrist): A doctor who specializes in eye diseases, including diabetic eye disease, and is trained to check for them.
- Social worker, psychologist, psychiatrist, therapist: Mental health professionals who can help with the personal and emotional aspects of living and coping with diabetes.
- Podiatrist: A doctor trained to treat problems of the foot and ankle.
- Pharmacist: A healthcare professional who fills prescription medicines for diabetes and other conditions.
- Dentist: A healthcare professional who helps you keep your teeth and gums healthy.
- Exercise physiologist: A healthcare professional trained in the science of exercise who can help find the right exercise for your diabetes treatment plan.
- Certified diabetes care and education specialist (CDCES): CDCESs may be nurses, dietitians, doctors, pharmacists, podiatrists, counselors, or other healthcare professionals who have special certification in educating people with diabetes.
Though there will likely be a number of people involved in your diabetes wellness journey, surrounding yourself with a knowledgeable and caring team will give you the support you need to thrive.
American Diabetes Association. (ADA) Get To Know Your Diabetes Care Team. Online version accessed May 2, 2022