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Making the most of your doctor visit

Making the most of your doctor visit

Your time with your doctor can be limited to just a few minutes for a routine exam and consultation. In order to help your doctor give you the best care for your diabetes and get the most out of your doctor visits, here are a few tips:

Before your appointment:

  • If you have a lot of questions or concerns, indicate that when you make your appointment.
  • Keep a record of your blood glucose results with any comments that may explain them like foods, activity or symptoms.
  • Write down a list of questions that you want to ask your doctor, including any concerns like emotional issues, stress or changes in your condition.
  • Make a list of all the medications or supplements that you are taking. Note if you need any prescription refills.

During your appointment:

  • Bring your blood glucose meter, log book, medication list and questions with you.
  • Don’t hesitate or feel embarrassed to go over your records with your doctor and discuss concerns.
  • Take off your shoes and socks for a foot exam.
  • Ask your doctor to write instructions or information down and explain them one by one so you don’t second guess. Repeat what your doctor told you and ask if you understood it correctly.
  • Answer your doctor’s questions honestly. Your doctor will use this information to recommend your treatment regimen.
  • If your doctor requests laboratory tests, ask:
    • What are they for?
    • How and when will I get the results?
    • Who can I contact if I don’t get the results?
  • If your doctor recommends a new treatment regimen, ask how effective it is.
  • If a new medication is prescribed, ask for possible side effects.
  • Ask about resources for reliable diabetes information like diabetes education classes and support groups.
  • Ask when you should return for a follow-up check-up.
  • Before the doctor leaves, run through your list again to make sure you have covered everything.

Important questions to ask your doctor

These suggested questions will help you have a more meaningful dialogue with your doctor about diabetes and other health issues.

Topic Questions to ask: If you are not in range:
Blood Glucose 1. How often do I need to check my blood glucose level?
2. What should my blood glucose level be?
3. Is my blood glucose in range?
4. How does food and exercise affect my blood glucose level?
5. Do I need to worry about low blood sugar?
6. What is my A1C and what should it be?
What should I do to get my blood glucose down to a normal level?
Blood Pressure and Cardiac Health 7. What is my blood pressure?
8. Is it normal/within range?
What should I do to bring my blood pressure in range?
9. Am I at high risk for heart problems (coronary artery disease)? What can I do to decrease my risk for heart disease?
Lipid Levels 10. What are my lipid (blood fat) levels?
11. Is it normal/within range?
What should I do to bring my lipid level in range?
Do I need to take medicines to control my lipid levels?
Kidney 12. Have you checked my kidney function?
13. What are the results?
What should I do to protect my kidneys?
Do I need to take medicines for kidney health?
Feet Care 14. Can you please check my feet?
15. Do I have normal feeling and good circulation?
What can I do to improve circulation and feeling in my feet?
Other questions 16. Is there anything I should stop or avoid doing?
17. Under what circumstances should I call you?
18. Is there anything else I can do to help myself?