November Blog – Diabetes
November – Diabetes
Your diabetes care team
Who do you think is the most important member of your diabetes care team? Although all members of your diabetes care team are important, the answer is… you!
The success of your care depends on your daily commitment to targeted health-related activities that you have agreed to with other members of your diabetes care team.
Your diabetes care is usually overseen by your family doctor or by a health professional known as a “certified diabetes educator” who has received special training in diabetes management. Many other health professionals with specialized training are also members of your diabetes care team. Because emotional support is so important, your family members and friends are also an important part of your diabetes care team.
The following is a brief overview of the role of some of the important members in your diabetes care team:
- family doctor: Your family doctor is a key “point” person who can help you with day to day issues and refer you to other members of the team who may be specialized in the area of your concern.
- diabetes educator: This is a health professional (often a nurse) who has special training in caring for, and educating people with, diabetes. They can help you to better understand diabetes and to deal with common issues that may arise when you are managing the disease.
- pharmacist: Pharmacists are experts in medication management. They will help you better understand your medications, when to take them, and what side effects to be aware of. Ask your pharmacist for a detailed list of your current medications so that you can show them to each health professional that you come into contact with.
- registered dietitian: A registered dietitian is an expert in nutrition and will help you determine your food needs based on your desired weight, lifestyle, medication, and other health goals. They will also help you learn how the foods you eat affect your blood sugar.
- additional health professionals: Your diabetes care team may also include an endocrinologist (a doctor who specializes in the treatment of certain types of hormonal diseases, including diabetes), an exercise specialist (to help you plan daily physical activities), a podiatrist (for foot care), an eye doctor, a social worker, and a dentist. All members of your diabetes care team are critical to the success of your long-term care.
It is critical that excellent communication take place between all members of the diabetes care team. You can help by being involved in your care and sharing your important health information with each member of the diabetes care team that you come into contact with. This may be helped by keeping a daily diabetes diary that includes all of your important diabetes care information.
Ask Your Pharmacist
Question: What does it mean to have borderline diabetes?
Answer: If your doctor has told you that you have borderline diabetes, otherwise known as pre-diabetes, it means your blood sugar levels are high, but not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes. While you may not have diabetes now, pre-diabetes is an indication that you could develop type 2 diabetes if you don’t make some lifestyle changes.
The good news is that it is possible to reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Diabetes develops gradually so be aware of any symptoms like unusual thirst or hunger, weight loss or having to use the bathroom more often. Learn how to control your blood sugar levels and improve your overall health. This includes getting regular physical activity, eating a moderate amount of healthy food and maintaining your ideal body weight. Your pharmacist is a great source of lifestyle and medication advice and can recommend products and tools to help you manage your blood sugar levels.
Do you have more questions? Speak with your Pharmasave pharmacist.
Foot problems are common in people who have diabetes so it’s important to check your feet every day. Diabetes can cause blood vessel and nerve damage, which can put your feet at greater risk of getting sores and infection. As well, wounds may heal at a slower rate, so it’s important to not ignore a foot injury. Your pharmacist can help you keep your feet happy and healthy by providing advice about foot care products and treatments to meet your unique needs.
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