Questions to Ask a Doctor About Type 2 Diabetes
Learning that you have a chronic health condition is always alarming. Diabetes is extremely common in the United States, affecting 21 million people. About 90 to 95 percent of those cases are type 2 diabetes. If you are newly diagnosed, find a qualified, experienced endocrinologist or internist to help manage your disease. Some patients find it helpful to speak to two or three doctors before deciding which one to use. Since you’ll be relying on this physician for many years, find someone whose personality you like and whose credentials are impeccable.
Here are some questions to ask the doctor or the doctor’s support staff before making your decision. Choose the five most important questions because you won’t have the time to discuss everything. Some doctors have literature they can share with you.
How many doctors refer diabetes patients to you?
What percentage of your practice is related to treating diabetes?
Have you ever taught, lectured or written about diabetes?
Are you on staff at a teaching hospital?
Are your partners experienced in diabetes management?
Can you refer me to a nutritionist or a certified diabetes educator?
What is your philosophy regarding the use of medication to treat diabetes?
Are you accessible by phone to answer questions?
Do you enjoy treating people with diabetes?
You’re diagnosed. Now what?
You’ve just been diagnosed with diabetes, and about a million questions are swimming through your head. To help you pinpoint the most important issues, here are some questions to ask your internist or endocrinologist during your initial consultation. Again, choose the five most important because your doctor won’t have time to discuss everything.
Will diabetes shorten my life expectancy?
Does having diabetes mean I can’t eat sweets or carbohydrates anymore?
Will artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame and saccharin, affect my blood-sugar level?
If I lose weight, will I no longer have diabetes?
Can I treat my diabetes through diet and exercise alone?
How often will I need to monitor my blood sugar level?
What is the easiest way to monitor my blood sugar level?
Do insulin injections hurt?
Are there side effects to taking insulin?
How much insulin should I take?
What are the earliest symptoms of a serious blood-sugar problem?
Can I have a safe pregnancy?
Are my children at risk for diabetes?
What drugs are available to treat type 2 diabetes, and what are the risk factors and side effects associated with these drugs?
If I take medication for type 2 diabetes, will that eliminate the need for insulin?
If I don’t control my diabetes properly, what are the chances of developing serious complications, such as kidney failure or circulatory problems?
Will smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke worsen my condition?
Are there any surgical treatments available to transplant healthy insulin-producing cells into me?