Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic Staff
You're likely to start by seeing your primary care doctor if you're having diabetes symptoms. If your child is having diabetes symptoms, you might see your child's pediatrician. If blood sugar levels are extremely high, you'll likely be sent to the emergency room.
If blood sugar levels aren't high enough to put you or your child immediately at risk, you may be referred to a doctor who specializes in diabetes, among other disorders (endocrinologist). Soon after diagnosis, you'll also likely meet with a diabetes educator and a dietitian to get more information on managing your diabetes.
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment and to know what to expect.
What you can do
- Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions. When you make the appointment, ask if you need to do anything in advance. This will likely include restricting your diet, such as for a fasting blood sugar test.
- Write down any symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated.
- Write down key personal information, including major stresses or recent life changes. If you're monitoring your glucose values at home, bring a record of the glucose results, detailing the dates and times of testing.
- Make a list of any allergies you have and all medications, vitamins and supplements you're taking.
- Record your family medical history. In particular, note any relatives who have had diabetes, heart attacks or strokes.
- Take a family member or friend, if possible. Someone who accompanies you can help you remember information you need.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor. Ask about aspects of your diabetes management you're unclear about.
- Be aware if you need any prescription refills. Your doctor can renew your prescriptions while you're there.
Preparing a list of questions can help you make the most of your time with your doctor. For diabetes, some questions to ask include:
- Are the symptoms I'm having related to diabetes or something else?
- Do I need any tests?
- What else can I do to protect my health?
- What are other options to manage my diabetes?
- I have other health conditions. How can I best manage these conditions together?
- Are there restrictions I need to follow?
- Should I see another specialist, such as a dietitian or diabetes educator?
- Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing?
- Are there brochures or other printed material I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, such as:
July 31, 2014
- Can you describe your symptoms?
- Do you have symptoms all the time, or do they come and go?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- Do you have a family history of preeclampsia or diabetes?
- Tell me about your diet.
- Do you exercise? What type and how much?
- Papadakis MA, ed., et al. Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2014. 53rd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2014. http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/book.aspx?bookId=330. Accessed April 27, 2014.
- Standards of medical care in diabetes — 2014. Diabetes Care. 2014;37:s14.
- Diabetes mellitus (DM). The Merck Manual for Health Care Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/endocrine_and_metabolic_disorders/diabetes_mellitus_and_disorders_of_carbohydrate_metabolism/diabetes_mellitus_dm.html. Accessed April 29, 2014.
- Atkinson MA, et al. Type 1 diabetes. The Lancet. 2014;383:69.
- What is gestational diabetes? American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/gestational/what-is-gestational-diabetes.html. Accessed May 9, 2014.
- Gardner DG, et al. Greenspan's Basic & Clinical Endocrinology. 9th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2011. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=13. Accessed April 27, 2014.
- Diabetes & pregnancy. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/Features/DiabetesPregnancy/. Accessed May 9, 2014.
- Gestational diabetes mellitus. Washington, D.C.: American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.guideline.gov/content.aspx?id=47014. Accessed May 9, 2014.
- Levitsky LL, et al. Special situations in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 27, 2014.
- Peyser T, et al. The artificial pancreas: Current status and future prospects in the management of diabetes. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 2014;1311:102.
- Bergenstal RM, et al. Threshold-based insulin-pump interruption for reduction of hypoglycemia. New England Journal of Medicine. 2013;369:224.
- Hyperglycemia (High blood glucose). American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/blood-glucose-control/hyperglycemia.html. Accessed April 29, 2014.
- DKA (ketoacidosis) & ketones. American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/ketoacidosis-dka.html. Accessed April 29, 2014.
- Natural medicines in the clinical management of diabetes. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed May 10, 2014.
- Cook AJ. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Accessed May 6, 2014.
- Diabetes and metabolism — The how of clinical studies. Discovery's Edge: Mayo Clinic's Online Research Magazine. http://www.mayo.edu/research/discoverys-edge/diabetes-metabolism-how-clinical-studies. Accessed May 10, 2014.