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Quality Health Care and You - Diabetes

It's Okay to Ask - A Checklist for Your Doctor Visit

middle-aged lady talking with female doctor

You may have side effects caused by your diabetes but feel afraid to talk about them with your doctor. You may be concerned about:

Do not pass off such concerns as being "just your diabetes." Be honest about what is on your mind. It is OKAY TO ASK your doctor questions and to share what is worrying you. It is okay to be your own champion in achieving success with diabetes.

 

A Checklist for Your Doctor Visit (.pdf version)

The following chart lists the medical tests and exams that should be a part of your regular office visits. It includes:

Use this checklist as a tool to better communicate with your doctor and to make sure you are receiving ADA*-recommended care for your diabetes.

 

Check

Medical Test/Examination

Why the Test is Given What the Test Results Should Be** Your Test Results How Often the Test is Typically Needed
 

A1C

Shows how well your diabetes treatment plan has been working over the past 2-3 months

 

Below 7   Every 3-6 months
 

Blood Pressure

Shows if you need medicine to control blood pressure and lower the risks that high blood pressure has on your heart, eyes, kidneys, and nerves

 

Less than 130/80mmHg   Every doctor visit
 

Cholesterol

Shows if you need medicine to lower your LDL – also called “bad” - cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke

 

LDL is less than 100 mg/dL   Once a year
 

Kidney Function

Urine Test

Shows if you need medicine to prevent kidney damage or kidney failure, which could lead to dialysis

 

Less than 30 mg in 24 hours   Once a year
 

Referral for a Comprehensive Dilated Eye Exam

Shows if diabetes has damaged your eyes

 

Normal eye exam with no sign of diabetic retinopathy

  Once a year
 

Foot Exam

Identifies high risk foot conditions and whether you have loss of feeling in your feet, which may lead to injury or infection

 

Normal protective sensation or feeling   Every doctor visit
 

Smoking Status and Stop Smoking Advice

Smoking increases the rate at which problems from diabetes will occur.

 

Stop smoking.   Review at every doctor visit

*American Diabetes Association

** ADA-Recommended Goal

 

As new treatments and research become available, best practice guidelines may change.  It is important for you to know the current best practices and medical standards to most effectively treat your diabetes.  Ask your doctor about them - to be sure that you get the right care at the right time.

It is OKAY TO ASK!

 

Developed by the Cincinnati Aligning Forces for Quality initiative of the Health Improvement Collaborative of Greater Cincinnati, and adapted for use on NetWellness with permission.

 

For more information:

Go to the Quality Health Care and You - Diabetes health topic, where you can:

This article is a NetWellness exclusive.

Last Reviewed: May 29, 2014

Eric J Warm, MD, FACP Eric J Warm, MD, FACP
Richard W. & Sue P. Vilter Professor of Medicine
Academic Health Center
University of Cincinnati