From Florida, USA:
I was diagnosed 6 months ago with Type 2 diabetes and was devastated. My GP and endocrinologist aren't forthcoming in diabetes information. In fact, my GP did not want me to buy a monitor and test daily. When you encounter a newly diagnosed patient, what do you advise? An appointment with the dietitian, a support group, etc.?
All of the above!
You're lucky that you had access to an endocrinologist: many people with Type 2 diabetes aren't seen by specialists for their diabetes, and in your case, you might not have become aware of the need to check your own blood sugar.
Among other things, I'll probably advise a new patient with Type 2 diabetes to:
- Home blood sugar monitoring regularly; fax or phone us if changes in blood sugar patterns
- Meal plan review by a diabetes dietitian (the cook should be present, if a spouse or someone else is preparing the meals!)
- More exercise (sometimes difficult to do due to fatigue when the sugar is high)
- Involvement of the family (see meal planning, for example)
- Support groups: call the local ADA or hospital's diabetes nurse educator to find them!
- Join the American Diabetes Association.
- Read everything you can find (that's current: if it's over 10 years old, it's likely to be severely out-of-date!)
- Glycohemoglobin every 3 months
- Eye exam by an ophthalmologist annually
- Lab tests, including cholesterol, kidneys, heart, etc.
- One aspirin every day, unless there's a reason not to take it
- Keep in touch with your GP for routine health matters
- Return visits, including a double-check of your meter, and downloading its memory, every 3 months
Quite a list, eh?
Original posting 1 Feb 98
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