Working With Your Doctor

Initial Doctor's Visit

Your doctor may suspect that you have diabetes if you have:

  • a strong family history of diabetes
  • any symptoms of diabetes
  • a personal medical history that indicates other risks for diabetes

If your doctor suspects that you might have diabetes, he or she will give you a thorough physical exam to help rule out other health problems that may be causing your symptoms. If you already have a confirmed diagnosis of diabetes, you're at risk for developing problems with other parts of your body. This includes your eyes, kidneys, feet, nerves, heart and blood vessels. Therefore, during your exam, your doctor will pay particular attention to those areas. In addition to a physical exam, a series of tests will be run to help you and your doctor create a treatment plan.


Follow-up Doctor's Visits

Because diabetes is a chronic disease, you'll need to stay in touch with your doctor regularly. How often you need to see your doctor depends on:

  • your type of diabetes
  • your blood glucose goals and if you are able to achieve them with your treatment plan
  • whether you've made any changes to your treatment program
  • whether you have serious problems from diabetes or other health problems

Talk openly with your doctor and create a plan for your visits.  Again, it depends on where you are in your treatment.

  • If you are just beginning to take insulin or have a major change in the amount of insulin you take, you may need to check in with your doctor as often as every day until your blood glucose is controlled.
  • If you are starting diabetes pills, you may need to check in with your doctor as often as once a week until your blood glucose is controlled.
  • If you are in the "maintenance" stage, you should see the doctor who coordinates your diabetes care at least four times a year. Once your diabetes is under control, you may see the doctor less often.

Written by award-winning health writer Bobbie Hasselbring

Reviewed by Beth Seltzer, MD

Last updated June 2008