How to Build a Diabetes Support Team

Whether you are newly diagnosed or have been diagnosed for years, it is a good idea to have a diabetes support team in place. Your support team is there to help you navigate your way through living with diabetes and provide the support and guidance you need along the way.

Who should be part of your team?

  • Endocrinologist or Primary Care Doctor with experience in diabetes
    • It is important that the doctor is familiar with diabetes or has an APRN or CDE on staff with experience in diabetes
    • The doctor you choose should see people with diabetes and be familiar with medications, nutrition and exercise for diabetes
  • APRN or CDE with experience in diabetes
    • An APRN or CDE sees people with diabetes and is familiar with medications, nutrition and exercise for diabetes
  • Diabetes Support Group
  • Diabetes Self-Management Education Class
  • Therapist who works with people with diabetes or other illnesses

Tip: Develop a relationship with them by going when you

  • Are initially diagnosed
  • Need support because you feel overwhelmed by some aspect of your diabetes
  • Feel burned out over diabetes
  • Get the sense that diabetes is negatively impacting your relationships with others in your life
  • Are struggling with a particular aspect in your life and are looking for an unbiased opinion
  • Feel that diabetes is impacting other aspects of your life unnecessarily
  • Podiatrist to receive foot exams by a specialist every year to evaluate:
    • Pulses in your feet
    • Ability to feel sensation
    • Loss of feeling
    • Calluses, sores, infections
  • Ophthalmologist: Yearly dilated eye exams to make sure that you don’t have any damage
    • People with diabetes can have an eye disease called diabetic retinopathy. This is because high blood sugar levels cause cellular death and damage to blood vessels in the retina.  These blood vessels can swell and leak. Or they can close, stopping blood from passing through. Sometimes abnormal new blood vessels grow on the retina. These changes can steal your sight.
  • Join a diabetes organization like the ADA or JDRF
  • Community of other people or at least one other person who has diabetes and who is walking the same path that you are walking.
    • Commiserate when you are having a bad day
    • Get advice
    • Share what works and tips
  • The GlucoseZone can provide you with an community online and resources

About the Author:

LaurieAnn Scher  MS, RD, CDE is the diabetes educator for GlucoseZone.  With over 30 years in practice, she embraces new technologies and ideas that are grounded in human physiology to help people with diabetes achieve the best outcome.  With an undergraduate degree in Clinical Nutrition from Cornell University and a Masters in Applied Physiology and Nutrition from Columbia University, Teachers College, she is comfortable applying innovations in nutrition, exercise and diabetes to the current practice of diabetes management.  LaurieAnn is comfortable with challenging the status quo to personalize diabetes care recognizing that while diabetes may be similar as a disease state, not everything works for all people all of the time.  Join LaurieAnn to help discover how to manage your diabetes in the GlucoseZone.