Your primary-care physician, endocrinologist, podiatrist, eye doctor, and dentist should be on your diabetes-management team. In addition, you should find a certified diabetes educator who can teach you about nutrition and care specific to diabetes.
Which specialists should be a part of your diabetes-management team?
Ping H. Wang, MD: Patients can manage their diabetes with a team that includes a physician, a diabetes educator, and a dietitian. The following specialists can also be part of a patient's management team: endocrinologist (hormone system), podiatrist (feet), optometrist/ophthalmologist (eyes), and dentist. Patients with long-term diabetes or complications may require the care of one or more of the following specialists: neurologist (diabetic neuropathy), nephrologist (kidneys), or other specialists. Controlling blood sugar, blood pressure, and lipid levels is proven to delay or thwart complications altogether.
Melissa Meredith, MD (with assistance from Barb Uselman, RN/CDE, and Carol Sargent, RD/CDE) : Diabetes is a chronic and potentially complicated disease that is best cared for by a team approach. The typical core members of the team are: the primary care provider and staff, certified diabetes educator (CDE), registered dietitian (RD), pharmacist and most importantly, the patient. Other members may be needed for some patients including: endocrinologist (for type 1 diabetes and complicated type 2 diabetes), ophthalmologist (for yearly eye exams), kidney specialist, cardiologist, neurologist, and/or mental health worker.
A diabetes doctor (endocrinologist) to assess and prescribe the best medicines for you
A certified diabetes educator to help you understand the best way to self-manage your condition (this includes a registered nurse, registered dietitian, licensed clinical social worker, pharmacist, or an exercise physiologist)
A primary-care physician for ongoing prevention and treatment of related conditions
An eye doctor (ophthalmologist or optometrist) for your yearly eye exams
A dentist for your twice-yearly cleaning
A foot doctor (podiatrist) to prevent or treat foot problems
Gretchen Scalpi, RD, CDE: Your team should consist of an endocrinologist or primary-care physician, certified diabetes educator (a registered dietitian or nurse), podiatrist, ophthalmologist, dentist, and any other specialist that a team member suggests for conditions related to your diabetes
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