Preparing for your appointment

By 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).

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 there's anything you need to do 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 my diabetes or another condition?
  • What tests do I need to best manage my diabetes?
  • 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?

Don't hesitate to ask any other questions you have.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, such as:

  • When did you begin being concerned about having diabetes? What symptoms alerted you?
  • Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
  • 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?
Jan. 31, 2013