Living well with diabetes is within reach, especially when your primary care provider is your partner in your health journey. Your primary care provider can best help you if you’re fully prepared for each visit so you can make the most of your time together.
Before Your Visit
- Gather glucose readings. Be sure to take your blood sugar (or glucose) monitor and/or written records of your blood glucose readings. Your primary care provider can help you troubleshoot high or low results.
- Write down your concerns. Create a list of symptoms or concerns you want to discuss and arrange them from most to least important.
- Write out questions. Common questions you might want to ask your primary care provider include:
- How often should I check my blood glucose?
- What is my target range for blood glucose readings, blood pressure and cholesterol?
- Should I make any adjustments to my lifestyle (food, exercise, medications) to improve my blood glucose control?
During Your Visit
In addition to discussing your concerns, your primary care provider will examine your overall health. He/she will specifically check your eyes, mouth, heart and feet. Complications from diabetes often occur in these areas.
It is also important to have your blood pressure checked. If your blood pressure is high, your risk for stroke, heart attack, eye problems and kidney disease increases. Your physician can help you set up a self-care plan, if you don’t already have one, to lower blood pressure levels.
Also, patients with diabetes are more likely than others to have foot problems. Ask your primary care provider for tips on caring for your feet, such as how to wash them properly and how to inspect them every day.
Every three to six months, you will need a blood test called hemoglobin A1c. This common test measures your average blood glucose reading for the past two to three months. If the reading is not on target, your physician may suggest changes in your medication, diet or physical activity.
Preventing complications is part of managing your diabetes. You should discuss with your primary care provider and schedule the following at least once each year:
- A cholesterol blood test
- A microalbumin test, which measures kidney function
- An eye exam performed by an eye doctor
- A flu shot
At MedStar Harbor Hospital, our team of primary care providers works closely with our endocrinologists on your behalf. We partner with you and work together to ensure your diabetes is managed as carefully and efficiently as possible.
To schedule an appointment, please call 855-546-1184.
MedStar Harbor Hospital
3001 South Hanover St.
Gruehn Bldg., Suite 102
Baltimore, MD 21225
8026 Ritchie Highway
Pasadena, MD 21122
Diabetes Nurse Educator
Caroline Zatyko, RD, CDE