Published May 23, 2012
If you are a woman living with diabetes, do you know how many doctors you need? It can be hard to determine if you need more than the usual recommended number of physicians.
I happen to be a person who would rather know than be surprised by an illness, especially if I could have prevented the condition or its complications. Over the years I have followed my doctors’ directions to the best of my ability at that time. I am learning that some additional preventative checkups could be beneficial.
According to The American Diabetes Association, the most important member of your health care team is you.
The ADA also recommends building a healthcare team with these professionals:
• Primary Care Provider for general checkups and when you get sick
• Endocrinologist, a specialist in diabetes care
• Nurse educator
• Registered dietician
• Eye doctor
• Social Worker/Psychologist/Psychiatrist/Marriage and Family Therapist
• Exercise Physiologist
Being a female living with diabetes, I have also enlisted the aid of other specialists.___________________________________________________
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I have added a dermatologist to my team. My control over my diabetes, can affect the condition of my skin. I also have an OBGYN, retina specialist, naturopath, and gastroenterologist and am looking into a cardiologist.
Does this seem excessive? It seems so at face value.
However, life with diabetes has led me to seek other medical experts as needed. It is not always due to diabetes, but diabetes affects all aspects of my body and I find them more interconnected as I age.
I spent years going to specialists that would look at specific results. That was good.
I also got regular blood pressure checks and blood panels. I always seemed to get a passing report.
I still had unresolved issues that I couldn’t seem to put together. After taking a whole health approach compared to individual areas, I saw the need to expand my team.
There are concerns with adding more doctors to your team. The cost itself can be substantial with or without insurance.
Conflicting information is sometimes given. Those made me research my own conditions and helped me discern the right questions to ask
According to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, “Only you can determine whether you are seeing the right doctor. If you don’t feel comfortable with your doctor and have difficulty engaging dialogue with him or her, it is probably best for you to seek alternate health care.”
I would recommend that you speak with your doctor, be honest about issues that you might be having. They may or may not be related to diabetes, but they can help you find the other medical professionals you might need.