Type 2 Diabetes
Print Diagnosis To diagnose type 2 diabetes, you'll be given a: Glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test. This blood test indicates your average blood sugar level for the past two to three months. It measures the percentage of blood sugar attached to hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying protein in red blood cells. The higher your blood sugar levels, the more hemoglobin you'll have with sugar attached. An A1C level of 6.5 percent or higher on two separate tests indicates you have diabetes. A result between 5.7 and 6.4 percent is considered prediabetes, which indicates a high risk of developing diabetes. Normal levels are below 5.7 percent. If the A1C test isn't available, or if you have certain conditions — such as if you're pregnant or have an uncommon form of hemoglobin (known as a hemoglobin variant) — that can make the A1C test inaccurate, your doctor may use the following tests to diagnose diabetes: Random blood sugar test. A blood sample will be taken at a random time. Blood sugar values are expressed in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or millimoles per liter (mmol/L). Regardless of when you last ate, a random blood sugar level of 200 mg/dL (11.1 mmol/L) or higher suggests diabetes, especially when coupled with any of the signs and symptoms of diabetes, such as frequent urination and extreme thirst. Fasting blood sugar test. A blood sample will be taken after an overnight fast. A fasting blood sugar level less than 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L) is normal. A fasting blood sugar level from 100 to 125 mg/dL (5.6 to 6.9 mmol/L) is considered prediabetes. If it's 126 mg/dL (7 mmol/L) or higher on two separate tests, you have diabetes. Oral glucose tolerance test. For this test, you fast overnight, and the fasting blood sugar level is measured. Then you drink a sugary liquid, and blood s Continue reading >>
What Specialists Treat Diabetes?
People with diabetes need to regularly review and revise their strategies for managing their disease, under the guidance of a variety of specialists, including: endocrinologists or diabetologists -- healthcare professionals who specialize in diabetes ophthalmologists for eye examinations podiatrists for routine foot care These professionals will monitor your diabetes and check for complications. Keeping up with regular appointments with a primary care doctor is very important with diabetes, and they can make sure that referrals are made to other specialists as needed. Endocrinologists specialize in endrocrine disorders, such as diabetes, and they can be essential in helping to fine-tune insulin and medication doses. Having yearly eye exams with an opthalmologist is also important to help catch any problems early, and often podiatrists (foot doctors) are also recommended to be seen regularly. Since diabetes is something that is largely patient-managed, getting good education about the disease is something that often gets overlooked. Many insurance plans will cover several hours of education with a diabetes educator each year. This educator is usually a nurse or a dietitian who can make sure the patient knows how and when to take their medications, check blood sugars, plan their diet, and everything else involved with staying healthy. Most primary care doctors can provide a referral to an appropriate educator. Depending on the type and severity of diabetes you have, different doctors or specialists may see you. Initially, many diabetics are seen and cared for by their primary care physician, who may be a family doctor or internal medicine doctor. If your primary care doctor feels that you need to be seen by a specialist for improved control of your diabetes, he or she wil Continue reading >>
What Is An Endocrinologist?
Endocrinology is a complex study of the various hormones and their actions and disorders in the body. Glands are organs that make hormones. These are substances that help to control activities in the body and have several effects on the metabolism, reproduction, food absorption and utilization, growth and development etc. Hormones also control the way an organism responds to their surroundings and help by providing adequate energy for various functions. The glands that make up the endocrine system include the pineal, hypothalamus, pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid, thymus, adrenals, pancreas, ovaries and testes. Who is an endocrinologist? An endocrinologist is a specially trained doctor who has a basic training in Internal Medicine as well. Some disorders like low thyroid hormone production or hypothyroidism deals only with an endocrine organ and an endocrinologist alone may detect, diagnose and manage such patients. Yet other disorders may have endocrine as well and other origins like infertility and may need a deeper understanding of medicine on the part of the endocrinologist to identify and work in collaboration with another specialist (a gynaecologist in cases of infertility). What do endocrinologists do? Endocrinologists have the training to diagnose and treat hormone imbalances and problems by helping to restore the normal balance of hormones in the body. The common diseases and disorders of the endocrine system that endocrinologists deal with include diabetes mellitus and thyroid disorders. Diabetes mellitus This is one of the most common conditions seen by endocrinologists. This results due to inadequate insulin hormone secreted by the pancreas leading to excess blood sugar that damages various organs. Endocrinologists treat diabetes with diet and blood sugar red Continue reading >>
When Should You See A Diabetes Specialist?
Many people who have diabetes also have an experienced primary care (or family practice) doctor or nurse practitioner who can help them manage their diabetes. For example, people with uncomplicated type 2 diabetes may never need to see a specialist because they can easily manage it with their primary care doctor’s help. Other people, however, might choose to see a specialist. Here are 10 reasons why you might want to see an endocrinologist or diabetes care team: 1) Your doctor recommends you have an evaluation with a specialist. After you have been diagnosed with diabetes, your doctor may recommend you see a specialist to confirm the diagnosis and make sure you know your options for managing the disease. 2) Your primary care physician has not treated many diabetes patients. If your doctor has not treated many patients with diabetes or you are unsure about their treatment, you can choose to see a specialist. 3) You are having problems communicating with your doctor. If you feel your doctor is not listening to you or understanding your symptoms, you could see a specialist who will focus primarily on your diabetes. 4) You cannot find the right educational material to help you. Treatment for diabetes starts with learning to manage your diabetes. If you can’t find the right information to help you manage your diabetes, you might want to see a diabetes care team to receive diabetes education. 5) You are having complications or difficulty managing your diabetes. You should definitely see a specialist if you have developed complications. Diabetes typically causes problems with the eyes, kidney, and nerves. In addition, it can cause deformity and open sores on the feet. Diabetes complications only get worse with time, and can cause you to miss out on quality of life. In addi Continue reading >>
What Is An Endocrinologist?
Diabetes is a complex disease, and there is a lot more to treating it than just keeping your blood sugar at a healthy level. Thankfully, today many individuals with diabetes have a whole team of skilled professionals to help them manage their illness, including a primary care physician, dietitian, eye doctor, podiatrist, dentist and even a fitness trainer all dedicated to keeping you healthy. According to information from the American Diabetes Association (ADA), it is also important to have an endocrinologist, a doctor who has special training in treating people with diabetes and hormonal disorders, on your care team as well. An endocrinologist is a specially trained doctor who can diagnose and treat diseases that affect your glands, hormones and your endocrine system. The pancreas is part of the endocrine system, and insulin is one of the central hormones the body needs to function properly. Endocrinologists often treat people with diabetes, thyroid disease, metabolic disorders and more. Like other physicians and medical doctors, an endocrinologist is required to finish four years in medical school and complete a three or four year residency. Then, endocrinologists are required to spend two or three more years learning how to diagnose and treat hormone conditions. Overall, an endocrinologist's training typically takes more than 10 years, according to data from The Hormone Foundation. In most cases, your primary care doctor refers you to an endocrinologist if he or she believes you need to see a specialist to help you manage your diabetes. Why see an endocrinologist? Though many people can successfully control their diabetes with their general practitioner's help, there are several cases in which it might be best to see an endocrinologist. The ADA asserts that most peop Continue reading >>
Diabetes Specialist Info
Northwestern Medicine is proud to be Chicago's premier academic health system, with three hospitals ranked among "Ame... A Diabetes Specialist treats people with diabetes. A diabetes specialist may work with individuals already living with Type I or Type II diabetes or with individuals at risk for diabetes. A diabetes specialist can help with blood sugar maintenance as well as provide diet and exercise tips. Diabetes specialists give clients the "tools" they need to manage their diabetes and help prevent future medical problems from arising. Some common conditions that may indicate you should be tested for diabetes include blurred vision, excessive thirst, fatigue, frequent urination, or unusual weight loss. A diabetes specialist educates individuals on all aspects of diabetes treatment and care including diet, insulin, exercise, and blood sugar testing. A Diabetes Specialist is a professional who specializes in diabetes. A Diabetes Specialist can counsel on diet, insulin, exercise, and blood sugar testing. Who should seek the help of a Diabetes Specialist? If you have Diabetes, Diabetes runs in your family, or you are having problems controlling your Diabetes you should see a Diabetes Specialist. If you feel you might be at risk for Diabetes, you should see a Diabetes Specialist. You may prefer to see a Diabetes Specialist nurse instead. A Diabetes Specialist can work in a hospital, clinic or in private practice. What are some common symptoms that may indicate I should get tested for diabetes? A Diabetes Specialist suggests to patients that if they are experiencing symptoms such as blurred vision, excessive thirst, fatigue, frequent urination, or unusual weight loss that they should get tested for diabetes. How do I find a Diabetes Specialist in my city and state? The Continue reading >>
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Your Diabetes Care Team
Your health care team helps you manage your diabetes and maintain your good health. According to the American Diabetes Association, your diabetes care team should include: You: You are the most important member of your diabetes care team! Only you know how you feel. Your diabetes care team will depend on you to talk to them honestly and supply information about your body. Monitoring your blood sugar tells your doctors whether your current treatment is controlling your diabetes well. By checking your blood sugar levels, you can also prevent or reduce the episodes of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) you have. Primary doctor: Your primary care doctor is who you see for general checkups and when you get sick. This person is usually an internist or family medicine doctor who has experience treating people with diabetes, too. Because your primary care doctor is your main source of care, he or she will most likely head up your diabetes care team. Endocrinologist: An endocrinologist is a doctor who has special training and experience in treating people with diabetes. You should see yours regularly. Dietitian: A registered dietitian (RD) is trained in the field of nutrition. Food is a key part of your diabetes treatment, so yours will help you figure out your food needs based on your weight, lifestyle, medication, and other health goals (like lowering blood fat levels or blood pressure). Nurse educator: A diabetes educator or diabetes nurse practitioner is a registered nurse (RN) with special training and background in caring for and teaching people with diabetes. Nurse educators often help you with the day-to-day aspects of living with diabetes. Eye doctor: Either an ophthalmologist (a doctor who can treat eye problems both medically and surgically) or an optometrist (someone who Continue reading >>
Diabetes: When To Call The Doctor
Taking care of your diabetes includes knowing when to call a doctor and get medical help. As you learn more about diabetes, you'll become more confident about knowing when to call for help. Even if you're managing your diabetes on your own, it's a good idea to tell your mom or dad when you're feeling sick or having any symptoms that might be related to your diabetes. Having this parental support can be a huge help. Your mom or dad can help you get in touch with your doctor to prevent things from getting serious or even take you to the emergency department if you need it. If you're having a problem, start by checking your diabetes management plan. The plan can give you ideas on when and where to call for help. For many medical problems, it's best to start by calling your primary doctor, like your pediatrician or family doctor. In some cases, though, your diabetes management plan might advise you to call someone else on your diabetes health care team. If you need to see a doctor or get medical care, health care professionals may ask about: your symptoms, like whether you've been throwing up or feeling more tired than usual any prescription medications you're taking and the phone number of your pharmacy If you have time, it can help to write down this info before you visit the doctor. If you're ill, especially if the illness causes fever, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, or if your ability to eat or drink has been affected, call your doctor. You should also let your doctor or diabetes health care team know if you: have had a significant injury (more than a minor cut, scrape, or bump) have been prescribed new medications for another health problem (some medications may affect blood sugar levels) If you think a situation is an emergency, tell someone to call 911 or help you Continue reading >>
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Should I See A Diabetes Specialist?
I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes when I was in the hospital recently with pneumonia. My regular doctor has run several tests because of the diabetes, including a stress test, ultrasounds, and blood work. But he usually doesn't talk to me about diabetes. He asks me how my blood glucose readings are going, and that's about it. I've been seeing this doctor for nearly 12 years now, but do you think I should find someone who deals mostly with diabetes? — Robert, Alabama Before changing a doctor you have known for 12 years, ask him for a better explanation of your condition and how you can manage it. There is also quite a bit of information about diabetes on Web sites such as EverydayHealth.com. Start educating yourself by investigating in the Everyday Health Type 2 Diabetes Center. Then ask your doctor for specific advice about your diabetes during your next visit. For the most part, diabetes is managed by primary care doctors. Having said that, diabetes specialists can play a significant role in your care as well. If you develop complications or have difficulty managing your diabetes, you will benefit from a specialist's advice, but such treatment is usually not an either/or situation: Primary care doctors often coordinate care among various specialists, including diabetes specialists, for their patients. Receiving comprehensive care that includes nutrition and exercise advice is key to successfully preventing potential complications. Unfortunately, patient education often gets short shrift in today's hurried medical environment. Don't hesitate to seek the information you need, whether you ask your doctor directly or search for it online. Continue reading >>
A Shortage Of Diabetes Doctors
There are too few of the diabetes doctor specialists called endocrinologists Sarah Mart would like to see her endocrinologist every three months. Thats a tough thing to schedulebut not because Mart, the 41-year-old director of research at a nonprofit public health organization in Petaluma, Calif., is too busy. Its difficult to get an appointment with Marts endocrinologist and the other endos in the practice because they have too many patients and not enough open appointment times, says Mart, who has type 1 diabetes. Ive seen other endocrinologists in San Francisco and the Bay Area as well and its been that hard for all of them. According to a study recently published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (JCEM), there were only 4,841 U.S. endocrinologists in adult practice in 2011. Endocrinologists are doctors who specialize in the endocrine system, the bodys glands and the hormones they produce (the pancreas is both a gland and an organ). Endocrinologists treat diabetes and other health issues, including thyroid diseases, metabolic bone disease such as osteoporosis, and sexual hormone irregularities. While the number of endocrinologists has increased since 1999 (when there were 3,623 adult-practice endocrinologists), there are not enough of them to meet the demand of the estimated 29 million people living with diabetes in this country, says Robert Vigersky, MD, director of the Diabetes Institute at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and chair of the technical expert panel of the Endocrinology Workforce Study. With diabetes cases rising, the limited number of diabetes doctors, and the Affordable Care Acts improved coverage for people with diabetes, more people than ever want to see an endocrinologistand the endocrinologists who are available Continue reading >>
Value Of An Endocrinologist
When you are facing a diagnosis of a hormonal condition, like diabetes or thyroid disease, your doctor may suggest you see an endocrinologist. You may be wondering why you need to see a specialist instead of simply sticking with your primary doctor. Here are some reasons why an endocrinologist will provide the level of support and care that you need with this diagnosis. An Endocrinologist is a True Specialist An endocrinologist is a specialist who has thoroughly studied hormonal conditions and knows the best possible treatments, even when conventional treatments do not work well. Unlike a family doctor or general practitioner, an endocrinologist studies hormones and hormonal diseases in depth, and this specialist will be able to provide the best possible treatment. Most general practitioners have the skills necessary to diagnose and treat basic hormonal conditions, but sometimes the help of a specialist is needed. An Endocrinologist Helps Non-Traditional Patients Some patients have diseases that progress as the textbooks say they should. The standard treatments work and they are able to manage their conditions with oral or injected medication with minimal disruption to their day-to-day living. Other patients find that conventional treatment does not work. They stick with the treatments religiously, but they achieve no results. In these cases, an endocrinologist is necessary to ensure all possible treatment avenues are pursued. Some patients need unique care due to other health conditions that affect their hormonal conditions. They may have a genetic condition, like cystic fibrosis, that affects the way their bodies react to treatments. The traditional-path patients may not see the value of an endocrinologist. Those who are in one of the latter categories, however, do. I Continue reading >>
Diabetes Doctors: Which Specialists Treat Diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition that affects a person's blood sugar levels and can require various treatments. Understanding which doctors help treat diabetes can simplify the process, making it less stressful. This article helps people with diabetes to understand the key differences between the various diabetes specialists. It also covers some common guidelines to follow for visiting each of these experts, to ensure you get the most out of your treatment. Which doctors help with treating diabetes? There are a number of diabetes specialists who may be involved in treating someone with this common condition. As each of these specialists has a slightly different role, there are some key things to be aware of before seeing each one. General care physicians A general care physician will often help in the treatment of people with diabetes. Regular check-ups will usually be carried out once every 3 to 4 months. If there is anything outside their area of expertise, a general care physician will frequently send an individual to an endocrinologist first of all. Endocrinologists The most common specialists in the field of diabetes are endocrinologists. Endocrinologists specialize in the glands of the body, and the hormones that are produced from those glands. The pancreas is a gland that comes under the spotlight when managing diabetes. It produces insulin that helps regulate blood sugar. In the case of people with diabetes, insulin is either not produced or does not work properly. People with type 1 diabetes are put under the care of an endocrinologist most of the time. People with type 2 diabetes, who have fluctuating blood sugar levels, will also need to see an endocrinologist. Visiting a doctor for diabetes When visiting a doctor about diabetes for the first time, it is important tha Continue reading >>
Type 2 Diabetes - What To Ask Your Doctor
Ask your provider to check the nerves, skin, and pulses in your feet. Also ask these questions: How often should I check my feet? What should I do when I check them? What problems should I call my provider about? Who should trim my toenails? Is it OK if I trim them? How should I take care of my feet every day? What type of shoes and socks should I wear? Should I see a foot doctor (podiatrist)? Ask your provider about getting exercise: Before I start, do I need to have my heart checked? My eyes? My feet? What type of exercise program should I do? What type of activities should I avoid? When should I check my blood sugar when I exercise? What should I bring with me when I exercise? Should I eat before or during exercise? Do I need to adjust my medicines when I exercise? When should I next have an eye doctor check my eyes? What eye problems should I call my doctor about? Ask your provider about meeting with a dietitian. Questions for the dietitian may include: What foods increase my blood sugar the most? What foods can help me with my weight loss goals? Ask your provider about your diabetes medicines: When should I take them? What should I do if I miss a dose? Are there any side effects? How often should I check my blood sugar level at home? Should I do it at different times of the day? What is too low? What is too high? What should I do if my blood sugar is too low or too high? Should I get a medical alert bracelet or necklace? Should I have glucagon at home? Ask your provider about symptoms that you are having if they have not been discussed. Tell your provider about blurred vision, skin changes, depression, reactions at injection sites, sexual dysfunction, tooth pain, muscle pain, or nausea. Ask your provider about other tests you may need, such as cholesterol, A1C, and Continue reading >>
What Is A Diabetes Specialist Called?
Business & Finance Careers Treatment of diabetes often requires a large team of medical professionals. Most of the check-ups and prescriptions are done by the primary care physician. Primary care physicians often have a background in internal medicine or family practice. An endocrinologist should also be seen regularly, because this type of doctor has the specialized training and experience necessary to properly treat diabetes. The medical team may also include a dietitian to develop a proper diet to decrease symptoms and a podiatrist to care for the diabetes-induced nerve damage present in the extremities of diabetic patients. Learn more about Careers Continue reading >>
Your Child's Diabetes Health Care Team
When you have a child with diabetes, you and your family have a lot to learn, but you don't have to go it alone. Your child's diabetes health care team can help. Treating diabetes requires the expertise of many types of health care providers, so health care teams typically include doctors, certified diabetes educators, dietitians, and mental health professionals. What Does the Diabetes Health Care Team Do? The diabetes health care team teaches families all about diabetes. It helps families create and use the child's treatment plan, also called the diabetes management plan. The team adjusts insulin and other diabetes medicines, develops meal plans, and makes physical activity recommendations to help control blood sugar levels. All team members should take into account your child's schedule, skills, preferences, lifestyle, and growth and developmental needs. The team will help you cope with the challenges of parenting a child with a chronic illness and will help your child cope with his or her own set of challenges. Keep in mind that you and your child are the captains of your diabetes health care team all of the team activities focus on helping you and your child manage diabetes. The roles and responsibilities of the team members often overlap. You should feel comfortable communicating with all team members because you'll be in contact with them often. A pediatric endocrinologist is a doctor who specializes in treating kids who have diseases of the endocrine system , such as diabetes and growth disorders . But pediatricians, family practitioners, and other medical doctors also can treat kids with diabetes and manage their health care needs. You and your child should feel comfortable with the doctors you choose because your child's diabetes management plan is based on th Continue reading >>