Preparing for a Primary Care Visit When You Have Diabetes
Living well with diabetes is within reach. Your primary care physician can best help if you are fully prepared for each visit and make the most of your time together.
Before Your Visit
- Be sure to take your blood sugar (or glucose) monitor and/or records of your blood glucose readings to your appointment. Your doctor can help you troubleshoot high or low results.
- Write a list of symptoms or concerns you want to discuss and arrange them from most to least important.
- Write out questions. You might want to ask:
- How often should I check my blood glucose?
- What is my target range for blood glucose readings, blood pressure and cholesterol?
- Should I make any adjustments to my lifestyle (food, exercise, medications) to improve my blood glucose control?
During Your Visit
In addition to discussing your concerns, your physician will examine your overall health. He/she will specifically check your eyes, mouth, heart and feet. Complications from diabetes often occur in these areas.
It’s important to have your blood pressure checked. If your blood pressure is high, your risk for stroke, heart attack, eye problems and kidney disease increases. Your physician can help you set up a self-care plan — if you don’t already have one — to lower your blood pressure levels.
Patients with diabetes are more likely than others to have foot problems. Ask your physician for tips on caring for your feet, such as how to wash them properly and how to inspect them every day.
Every three to six months, you’ll need a blood test called hemoglobin A1c. This common test measures your average blood glucose reading for the past two to three months. If the reading is not on target, your physician may suggest changes in your medication, diet or physical activity.
Preventing complications is part of managing your diabetes. You should discuss the following with your physician and schedule these at least once each year:
- A cholesterol blood test
- A microalbumin test, which measures kidney function
- An eye exam performed by an eye doctor
- A flu shot
At MedStar Harbor Hospital, our team of primary care physicians works closely with our endocrinologists — on your behalf. We partner with you and work together to ensure your diabetes is managed as carefully and efficiently as possible.
Back to Diabetes