No one can effectively manage diabetes alone. When you are diagnosed, you will meet a team of people dedicated to helping you live your life while managing your diabetes. Your team may include:
- Primary-care doctor. If you do not see an endocrinologist, look for a primary-care doctor, family-practice doctor or an internist who has cared for many people with diabetes. Your primary-care doctor may also be the one who refers you to specialists or other team members.
- Nurse educator. A nurse educator or diabetes nurse practitioner is a registered nurse with special training and background in caring for and teaching people with diabetes. Many are also certified diabetes educators and some may have a master’s degree. Nurse educators help you learn the day-to-day aspects of diabetes self-care. They can teach you what diabetes is, how to cope with diabetes and make changes in your health habits, how to use diabetes medications, how to work with insulin and give yourself shots, how to check your blood sugar and more.
- Registered dietitian. A registered dietitian is trained in nutrition and has passed a national exam. Your dietitian helps you figure out your food needs based on your desired weight, lifestyle, medication and other health goals.
- Certified diabetes educator (CDE). These professionals all work in some way to teach or care for people with diabetes. They may work in hospitals, clinics, diabetes centers or private offices.
- Pharmacist. Your pharmacist will play a key role in your diabetes management, as you will likely see her more often than any other healthcare professional. She can provide medication information as well as assist your team in meeting your healthcare goals.
You may also be referred to additional healthcare professionals, including an endocrinologist, eye doctor, social worker/psychologist (to help with the emotional aspect of living with diabetes), a podiatrist (to help with diabetes-related foot issues) or others.
Source: American Diabetes Association