An Endocrinologist Never Stops Learning About Diabetes
To maintain their board certification, endocrinologists must keep up with new developments in their field. They must complete a set number of required hours of continuing education and renew their medical license every few years, depending on the state in which they practice and other factors. By following these requirements, board-certified endocrinologists stay on top of new treatments and discoveries about the mechanisms involved in diabetes, so they can then provide their patients with insightful, informed, and up-to-date treatment plans.
Key Difference Between Diabetologist And Endocrinologist
We often get confused with endocrinologist and diabetologist. But in actual the basic difference is that endocrinologists are trained physicians who can treat any problem related to the endocrine gland while on the other hand diabetologists are trained physician who only treats people who are suffering from early or higher stages of diabetes.
When Should I See An Endocrinologist
As mentioned earlier, your primary care doctor can diagnose your diabetes. Depending on the type and severity of your diabetes, they may be able to treat your condition by advising you to make diet and lifestyle changes. Should your diabetes not be treatable with those changes alone, your primary care doctor may recommend that you visit an endocrinologist.
You do not need a referral from your primary care doctor to visit an endocrinologist, however. If you feel you aren’t getting adequate care from your doctor or simply want to educate yourself as much as possible about what’s happening in your body, you can visit an endocrinologist on your own.
What Are The Complications Of Diabetes
If your blood glucose level remains high over a long period of time, your bodys tissues and organs can be seriously damaged. Some complications can be life-threatening over time.
- Dental problems.
Complications of gestational diabetes:
In the mother:Preeclampsia , risk of gestational diabetes during future pregnancies and risk of diabetes later in life.
In the newborn: Higher-than-normal birth weight, low blood sugar , higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes over time and death shortly after birth.
How Can I Exercise Safely And Effectively
Exercise is crucial for good diabetes management, but staying motivated isnt always easy. Talk with your endocrinologist about new exercise ideas for inspiration.
Perhaps you need suggestions on how to winterize your running routine, or are recovering from an overuse injury and need fresh ideas.
You may also be new to exercise, or are struggling with extreme highs or lows from it. Make sure to ask your endocrinologist about how you can better adjust your food intake and insulin for exercise in order to thrive.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults should aim for 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, or around 30 minutes most days of the week, so work with your doctor on how to reach at least that amount of exercise every week.
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What To Expect At Your Endocrinologist Appointment
When visiting your endocrinologist for the first time, they will ask you numerous questions about your health history and lifestyle, perform a physical exam, and look over your lab results.
From there, they may provide some education about new strategies for improving type 2 diabetes, treatment options, and other lifestyle modifications to keep your blood glucose levels in check. In some cases, you might leave with a new prescription or treatment to help manage your diabetes.
After your first visit, your endocrinologist may recommend coming back for check-ups at regular intervals to monitor your labs and see whether the treatments they have recommended are working. Follow-up sessions will include questions about how you are feeling, a physical exam, and an opportunity for you to ask questions.
People with type 2 diabetes often do have questions to ask their endocrinologist, but they can be easily forgotten if not recorded somewhere. Writing down questions on a piece of paper or even on your phone can help you remember what you want to ask during your next appointment.
Endocrinologist To Help With Blood Glucose Management
This doctor treats diabetes and other diseases of the endocrine system, and they can be especially important if your PCP does not work with many diabetes patients. This doctor will help you manage your blood sugar. They will assess the need for a blood-sugar-lowering medication and determine the right medication and dose for you. As the American Medical Association notes, because many of these diseases including diabetes are lifelong, endocrinologists may have long and close relationships with their patients. While this is an important doctor to have on your team, know that there is a shortage of practicing endocrinologists, according to the Endocrine Society. As such, it can make waiting times for an appointment long. To find an endocrinologist specializing in diabetes in your area, the Endocrine Society has a tool to locate one by zip code and subspecialty.
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Appointments With Your Diabetes Doctor
Your endocrinologist will ask you about how you feel, what you’re doing to manage your diabetes, and any trouble you’re having.
Take your blood glucose journal or logs with you, and let your endocrinologist know what’s been going on with you. What’s changed since the last time you saw them?
- Working out more or less
- Been sick lately
- Started taking any medicines, vitamins, or supplements
If you take insulin, you should probably see your diabetes doctor every 3 or 4 months. Otherwise, you can go a little longer between visits, every 4 to 6 months. You may have to go more often when your diabetes isn’t under control, you have complications, or you have new symptoms or they get worse.
What Experience And Training Do Endocrinologists Need
Endocrinology is a subspecialty of internal medicine. Endocrinologists are healthcare providers who have trained in the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat endocrine conditions specifically.
To become an endocrinologist in the United States, a person must obtain or complete the following:
- A bachelors degree .
- Approximately four years of medical school.
- A two- to three-year residency in internal medicine or pediatrics.
- A two- to three-year fellowship in endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism.
- Pass an exam to become board-certified in internal medicine through the American Board of Internal Medicine.
- Pass an endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism exam to become board-certified as an endocrinologist.
Endocrinologists and all healthcare providers also partake in yearly learning and training courses known as Continuing Medical Education to stay up to date in their medical field.
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Exercise Physiologist Or Physical Trainer
People with either types of diabetes need to exercise to help control their weight and blood sugar levels. Exercising can also help reduce stress as well as help the body use insulin better.
Your healthcare provider can help you find a licensed healthcare professional with training in exercise physiology. A scientifically based fitness program can be planned by an exercise physiologist for people with diabetes.
Traditional Diabetes Specialist Versus Holistic Diabetes Specialist
A traditional diabetes specialist focuses on the the prescription medications. These antidiabetic drugs are useful to control blood sugars. However, most of these medications do not treat the root cause of Type 2 diabetes, which is insulin resistance. Often diabetics end up developing horrendous complications of diabetes such as chronic kidney disease, eye disease, peripheral neuropathy, heart disease and poor circulation. In comparison, a holistic diabetes specialist focuses on treating the whole body and tries to reverse the downhill course of diabetes.
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People Who Can Help You Manage Type 2 Diabetes
As you begin the challenge of managing type 2 diabetes, these are the healthcare providers who can increase your chances of success.
You have figured out by now that managing type 2 diabetes means doing whatever you can to stabilize or lower the level of glucose in your blood. How? By building a diabetes-friendly diet, exercising regularly, taking any medications as prescribed, and following a glucose-monitoring plan. And thats a lot to keep track of on your own! The good news is you dont have to go it alone: You can enlist a battery of professionals to show you how to get on track and stay there.
We know that type 2 diabetes affects you head to toe. Youll never find one professional who is an expert in all of those areas, says Nicole M. Bereolos, PhD, MPH, a certified diabetes care and education specialist in Dallas. Dr. Bereolos is also on the board of directors for the Association of Diabetes Care and Education Specialists. It may feel frustrating to have five or six providers, she says, but each of these healthcare professionals offers a different resource. Id love for patients to reframe this thinking to the idea that theyre trying to get the best care possible and increase their likelihood for success, she says.
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With all that in mind, heres a list of the healthcare providers you’ll need on your team as you take up the challenge of managing type 2 diabetes.
What Does Diabetologist Do
Diabetologist helps in diagnosing and treating the following:
Diabetes can cause further issues of nerves, heart, liver disorders, eye problems, kidney issues, growth, and metabolic issues. In such a case, the Diabetologist may require an expert opinion from other medical disciplines. These include an opinion from kidney specialist , Nerve specialists , etc.
Moreover, the cause of diabetes may vary from person to person. In some, it can be a genetic cause, while in some it can be due to lifestyle and poor weight management. Thus, diabetologist works with the dietician, diabetic educators, nurses, Podiatrists, lifestyle experts, physician, etc. In this way, it helps in gaining proper information of the cause essential for better diagnosis and treatment.
Diabetologist may consult an Endocrinologist in the following cases:
- When the cause of diabetes may be Pancreas and insulin disorders.
- In any case, insulin therapy is not working efficiently.
- When there is a need for insulin dose adjustments.
- To find the cause of diabetes in newly diabetic patients
- To manage diabetes treatment after gaining insights into Insulin and pancreas action.
Thus, the treatment and proper management of diabetes require multidisciplinary team coordination.
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How Can I Adjust My Care Between Visits
Seeing the doctor and asking them questions consists of less than 1% of the time you live with your diabetes, and you need to know what to do on the fly if you have an issue.
Say youre sick and need to vastly increase the amount of insulin youre taking or training for a marathon and are suddenly extremely insulin sensitive.
This is the ideal time to ask your endocrinologist when and how you can adjust your insulin doses and corrections factors yourself, versus when they would be more comfortable guiding you through any necessary changes.
Its also helpful to know how available your doctors office will be. Can you contact them between visits for quick guidance or advice? Do they answer the phone on weekends? Do they email, text, or use a patient portal? How can you reach them in an emergency?
These are all great questions to ask and something youll definitely need to know for optimal care.
When Diabetes Patient Should Visit Endocrinologist
For a diabetic patient, your doctor may ask you to visit an Endocrinologist
- If you are newly diagnosed with diabetes. In such a case the doctor may require an endocrinologist opinion on Pancreas and Insulin functioning to manage diabetes efficiently .
- When your Diabetes management has worsened. In such a situation, the endocrinologist shall help in giving insights on insulin therapy or Pancreas removal surgery.
- If you are using more insulin therapy.
- When the diabetes treatment is not effective enough.
Thus, when you are diabetic, your doctor may ask you to visit an Endocrinologist to gain proper information on the Insulin role in your body. With this understanding Insulin therapy and medicines can be properly planned for effective diabetes management.
An endocrinologist opinion is necessary for effective insulin therapy or in the case of newly diagnosed diabetes.
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When To See An Endocrinologist
One should visit an Endocrinologist if one is facing the following problems:
Diabetes: Why See A Specialist
Diabetes is a complex disease that affects everyone differently. Thats why all diabetes patients should follow unique treatment plans tailored to their specific needs. But your primary care doctor may not have all the information you need to manage your diabetes successfully.
Thats where specialists come in: a diabetes specialist, called an endocrinologist, has the right skills and insight to help you stay in control of your diabetes. Heres why:
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Can Diabetes Be Prevented Or Avoided
Talk to your doctor about your risk factors for diabetes. Although you may not be able to change all of them, you can make changes to significantly lower your risk.
- Exercise and weight control. Exercising and maintaining a healthy weight can reduce your risk of diabetes. Any amount of activity is better than none. Try to exercise for 30 to 60 minutes most days of the week. Always talk with your doctor before starting an exercise program.
- Diet. A diet high in fat, calories, and cholesterol increases your risk of diabetes. A poor diet can lead to obesity and other health problems. A healthy diet is high in fiber and low in fat, cholesterol, salt, and sugar. Also, remember to watch your portion size. How much you eat is just as important as what you eat.
What Are The Secondary Diseases
- Diabetic foot syndrome : This concerns a serious complication resulting from diabetes. This occurs due to nerve damage and circulatory problems occurring in the foot or lower leg. This leads to tissue death and ulcers. In a worst-case scenario, the amputation of limbs is necessary.
Note: During compression care for venous disease, lipoedema or lymphoedema with concomitant diabetes mellitus and/or peripheral arterial occlusive disease, special attention must be paid to regular monitoring of the feet and legs during therapy with the aid of medical compression stockings.
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Pharmacist To Educate You On Your Medications
This professional can help you understand your medications and how they work. They can also check for medication interactions, and are especially important if youre taking multiple medications prescribed by more than one doctor. According to a review published in January 2017 in Integrated Pharmacy Research and Practice, pharmacists can play an important role in diabetes care and have been shown to reduce the number of high and low blood sugar episodes, which not only benefits your health but can help save you money on your care, too.
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Diabetes can be managed through oral medications. In addition to insulin, metformin, which is a sugar-reducing agent, is also a common treatment for diabetes. It is considered a first-line therapy for diabetes treatment and is often added to insulin. It is important to know the risks of taking diabetes medications. Some drugs can be addictive, so you must consult your doctor before taking any medication. Your physician can prescribe you an appropriate treatment plan based on your medical history.
Your doctor will prescribe medication and check your blood glucose levels on a regular basis. Your A1c level will be checked every six months and your cholesterol levels will be tested regularly. Your doctor will also look for any signs of retinopathy, which is damage to the nerves in the eye caused by diabetes. You will also be examined for any foot problems. It is important to see a foot specialist regularly. Your feet should be thoroughly inspected for damage to the nerves.
While the first two types of insulin are the most common treatments, diabetes can be treated in a variety of ways. Your doctor may prescribe medications to control high blood pressure, which can protect the kidneys. Other types of medication include aspirin and other types of anti-platelet drugs. If your doctor is concerned about your blood sugar level, you may need to try a different medication. Some medications can cause side effects. Your treatment will depend on what type of insulin you need.
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What Types Of Diabetes Require Insulin
People with Type 1 diabetes need insulin to live. If you have Type 1 diabetes, your body has attacked your pancreas, destroying the cells that make insulin. If you have Type 2 diabetes, your pancreas makes insulin, but it doesnt work as it should. In some people with Type 2 diabetes, insulin may be needed to help glucose move from your bloodstream to your bodys cells where its needed for energy. You may or may not need insulin if you have gestational diabetes. If you are pregnant or have Type 2 diabetes, your healthcare provider will check your blood glucose level, assess other risk factors and determine a treatment approach which may include a combination of lifestyle changes, oral medications and insulin. Each person is unique and so is your treatment plan.
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