Kauvery Hospital | Patient Newsletters | Beating Diabetes Requires A Team Effort

Having the right support team on your side makes a world of difference when you have to live with diabetes. Open and clear interaction between you and your medical team is a key factor in successful diabetes management. Here are 8 questions you should ask your team and why they are important:

1. What is my A1C and when was it last tested?
A1C is a test to measure the average level of sugar int the blood over the previous 2 to 3 months. Since tight control over the sugar/glucose level means fewer complications, it is important to have this test performed regularly so that if any additional action is required to regulate the glucose level, it can be taken quickly.

2. What were the results of my last lipid profile?
The lipid profile test is done to determine the amount of fats (cholesterol and triglycerides) in the blood. Knowing the amount of HDL cholesterol (the good type which protects against heart attacks) and LDL cholesterol (the bad type which causes cardiac issues) will enable you to know what steps need to be taken to protect your heart.

3. How often should I check my blood glucose?
The answer to this will depend on the medications you are taking, which varies from person to person. Based on your individual medication regimen and health needs, your medical team will create a testing schedule that is right for you.

4. What sort of dietary guidelines should I follow?
A dietary plan must be tailored to the specific needs of an individual. Your health care team will create a nutrition plan that is right for you.

5. How do my feet look?
Your feet are where diabetic health issues often first appear. Your feet should be examined by a doctor or nurse on every medical visit/appointment. In addition, you should examine your feet yourself every day to look for signs of any wounds or anything out of the ordinary. Because diabetes can cause poor circulation and reduced sensitivity, you may not feel the signs of foot problems, but your eyes will see them, so you can have action taken without delay.

6. What were the results of my last dilated-eye exam by an ophthalmologist?
Having a dilated eye examination once a year is very important. If you have not had one done, have it done without delay. Ensure that your medical team knows the results of the exam as it will help them to monitor your health and take any actions that may be required.

7. What's my blood pressure?
It is essential that a person with diabetes maintains a blood pressure of 130/80 or lower. Uncontrolled rises in pressure could cause damage to the blood vessels in the eyes. Ask your medical team what blood pressure level you should maintain and how often it should be checked.

8. What is my micro albumin and when was it last checked?
This test is done to evaluate kidney function. The results should typically be less than 30 milligrams. Early detection of high levels of protein in the urine can help to prevent kidney damage. Know your testing schedule and follow it.

These are just a few of the key issues you should discuss with your health care team so that you are aware of the actions you need to take to look after your health. Do not hesitate to discuss any other matters that may concern you or ask questions about anything about which you are unclear.

Article by Dr. K.Baraneedharan, MD
Senior Consultant Diabetologist
Kauvery Hospital

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