The 8 People You Need On Your Diabetes Care Team

woman shaking hands doctorBecause diabetes is a disease that affects so many parts of your body (your eyes, your pancreas, your kidneys, your feet) and demands attention in so many aspects of your daily life (your diet, your fitness routine, your medication schedule), one single doctor—even a great one—may not be able to provide you with the level of detailed care you need. You will quickly see that having a group of people working with and for you can ease the burden of trying to make the best decisions for your own care.

Below is a description of the different types of health care providers you’ll want to have on your diabetes dream team.

1. Primary Care Provider

(Doctor, nurse practitioner, physician assistant) – The primary care provider is the person you see for routine medical visits, including management of chronic conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. He or she will examine you, assess your condition, order tests, and make recommendations for your care. Your primary care provider may refer you to others for diabetes specific care.

2. Endocrinologist

Endocrinologist specializes in hormonal illnesses and glandular problem like thyroid, pancreas, ovaries, adrenal glands, and everything in between. Because diabetes is basically a hormone imbalance related to the way your pancreas produces or processes insulin, diabetes is a specialty of many endocrinologist. Your primary care provider may refer you to an endocrinologist who can evaluate your condition if your diagnosis is complex—if you are on multiple medications, on an insulin pump, use more than one type of insulin, or just can’t seem to get your condition under control.