Internal medicine physicians, also called internists, do a variety of things, one of them being aiding patients in managing their diabetes. More than 100 million Americans live with diabetes or prediabetes and not one person's situation is the same as the next. That’s why it takes experienced doctors who care about their patients to help each one manage their specific condition to live a more full and healthy lifestyle.
An internal medicine physician helps you manage your diabetes by:
Tracking Your Overall Health
You are not defined by diabetes — you have an entire body that needs to be kept in working order. The first thing an internist looks at is your overall health, both physically, mentally and emotionally. It’s important to communicate with your internist about anything that feels off so they can give you the right care.
Everybody is different so everyone’s care will be different. They’ll give you regular physicals and see if your diabetes is affecting any other parts of your body. They’ll make sure you’re staying strong and healthy, and if you're not, they'll recommend ways you can get back on track.
Coming Up With Possible Diet Plans
As a diabetic, you know your body doesn’t produce insulin as it should. That’s why it’s important to eat a healthy diet and monitor your portion sizes to make sure nothing goes awry. An internist will talk with you about your current diet, what you like to eat and what you don’t. They’ll also ask you if you have a special diet you’re using, such as if you’re vegan, vegetarian or something along those lines.
They’ll then recommend a diet plan for you, including an eating schedule. This could include them advising you to fill your diet with lean proteins, vegetables, fruit, and whole grains and to stay away from processed foods, soda, shellfish and, of course, candy. This doesn’t mean you can’t ever have those things but you should do it in a balanced way as to not upset your body. It might seem hard to go on a diet plan, but most people get the hang of it and some even see symptoms completely disappear from eating the correct way.
Monitoring Potential Complications
Unfortunately, everything doesn’t always go as planned and, as people say, things happen. An internist will help you not only try to prevent those things from happening but also monitor your health to see if there’s a chance it will. They’ll also monitor the situation if it does occur so you don’t feel so alone. Diabetes can cause all sorts of additional problems including hearing loss, foot problems, and cardiovascular problems. They’ll help you understand your diabetic risk and also consult with other doctors if need be so you don’t have to do so much work and can focus on your health.
Helping With Daily Blood Sugar Management
Everyone’s situation is different, so some people don’t have to track their blood sugar levels. But if you do, internists help with that too. In order to track your blood sugar, you might have to prick yourself with a small lancet a certain amount of times a day to test a drop of blood.
The purpose is to enable diabetics like yourself to dose themselves properly with supplemental insulin so your body stays running in correct fashion throughout the day. If you have an automatic insulin pump, you don’t have to worry about that. Either way, internists explain this whole process and talk with you about the best ways to monitor and manage your blood sugar every day.
Keeping You Informed About You
At the end of the day, only you really know how your body is feeling. No one else experiences it the way you do, so it’s important to have an internist who listens to you and answers all of your questions. At Johnson Memorial Health, we pride ourselves on not only listening to you and answering your questions but also genuinely caring about you as a person. You’re the most important part of your diabetes care team.