Preparing for your appointment

Your child's primary care doctor will probably make the initial diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. Hospitalization might be needed to stabilize your child's blood sugar levels.

Your child's long-term diabetes care likely will be handled by a doctor who specializes in metabolic disorders in children (pediatric endocrinologist). Your child's health care team will also generally include a dietitian, a certified diabetes educator and a doctor who specializes in eye care (ophthalmologist).

Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment.

What you can do

Before your appointment take these steps:

  • Write down any concerns you have about your child's well-being.
  • Ask a family member or friend to join you. Managing diabetes requires you to remember a lot of information. Someone who accompanies you may recall something that you missed or forgot.
  • Write down questions to ask your doctor. Your time with your doctor is limited, so it can be useful to prepare a list of questions you have about your child's care. Ask your doctor for a referral to a dietitian or a diabetes nurse educator if you have concerns that might be addressed by him or her.

Topics you might want to discuss with your doctor, dietitian or diabetes educator include:

  • The frequency and timing of blood glucose monitoring
  • Insulin therapy — types of insulin used, timing of dosing and amount of dose
  • Insulin administration — shots versus pumps
  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) — how to recognize and treat
  • High blood sugar (hyperglycemia) — how to recognize and treat
  • Ketones — testing and treatment
  • Nutrition — types of food and their effects on blood sugar
  • Carbohydrate counting
  • Exercise — adjusting insulin and food intake for activity
  • Dealing with diabetes at school or summer camp and on special occasions, such as sleepovers
  • Medical management — how often to visit the doctor and other diabetes care specialists

What to expect from your doctor

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

  • How comfortable are you with managing your child's diabetes?
  • Has your child had any low blood sugar episodes?
  • What's a typical day's diet like?
  • Is your child exercising? If so, how often?
  • On average, how much insulin are you using daily?

Contact your child's doctor or diabetes educator between appointments if your child's blood sugar isn't well-controlled or if you're not sure what to do in a certain situation.