How often you should go back to your diabetes doctor is dependent upon many things. If you take insulin for your diabetes or if you are having trouble managing your sugar levels, you should see your doctor at least four times annually.
You might need to go to your doctor more frequently if you have complications or if you’re starting a new medication or insulin program. Your doctor will inform you when to come back. They should also tell you other times to call or come in. For example, your physician may want you to call if you have had nausea or vomiting that that interferes with your eating, or when you’ve had a fever for at least a day. You’ll have to remain in contact with your doctor by phone every week or even daily if you’re making big changes in your diabetes care plan.
When you return, expect the physician and other members of your medical care team to give you a physical exam, have a medical history, conduct lab tests, and fine-tune your therapy program. These later visits are much less in-depth as your very first visit, though you should get a complete physical examination annually. Also, your physician may order new tests, do other examinations, or refer you to an expert based on test results and your requirements.
This checklist can help you ensure that your medical care team does a fantastic job at your followup visits. They should:
- Ask about times you have had low or high blood sugar levels
- Ask to see your blood sugar records
- Ask what adjustments you have made to your diabetes care plan
- Ask what issues you have had during your diabetes care plan
- Ask about symptoms that might indicate you are getting a diabetes complication
- Ask what other disorders you had since your last visit
- Ask what medications you are taking now
- Ask if your life has changed whatsoever
- Take your weight and blood pressure
- Examine your eyes
- Examine your toes
- Take blood for glucose testing
- Annually, take a urine sample to search for protein and take blood for cholesterol and blood glucose tests
- Review your treatment plan to measure your progress in meeting goals and determine where you’re having problems