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National Doctors’ Day 2021: Questions To Ask Your Doctor About Diabetes

National Doctors' Day is celebrated every year on 1 July to recognise the contributions of doctors and medical experts to individual lives, society and the whole country; especially during a time like this when the entire world is facing the COVID-19 pandemic, the day becomes more important.

It is very important for every individual to know about their health and medical conditions. This information is vital to start on the early treatment for serious health conditions and get treated before a condition gets worse.

If you are a diabetic, the risk gets doubled as it is one among chronic disorders, or say a disorder whose symptoms can only be controlled or managed for a lifetime but not treated completely.

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Diabetes is characterised by insufficient production of glucose or the inability of the cells to utilise glucose, leading to increased glucose levels which may cause adverse effects on the body. Some of the most common symptoms of diabetes are excess hunger and thirst, fatigue, frequent urination, loss of bladder control, reduced wound healing capacity, etc.

Here is a list of important questions you must ask your doctor if you are a diabetic. Take a look.

1. How Often Should I Check My Blood Sugar Level?

It is important to keep a check on your glucose levels when you are diabetic to avoid complications. Therefore, you must clear this doubt first by asking your doctor how often it should be done, as it may vary from patient to patient. [1]

2. When Do I Need To Take The Medications?

If you are a new diabetic and know someone who is also a diabetic, never take the same medications as theirs as the severity of the conditions varies in each diabetic, and as do medications. It is not advisable to self-medicate when you have diabetes. Therefore, always prefer a checkup first and then ask your doctor what medications are the best for you and when they should be taken. [2]

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3. Are There Cost-Effective Medications?

As diabetes medications are taken by diabetics for a lifetime, some may find the price of these medications to be high and not under their budget plan. Therefore, you can ask your doctor for different versions of medications that are available at lower costs and as effective as the previous versions.

4. Are There Any Side Effects Of Medications?

If you are a new diabetic or you have started on a new diabetic medication, chances are that you may face certain side effects. Therefore, make sure that you ask your doctor about the possible side effects that come with certain diabetic medications and what to do in such situations to lower those side effects. [3]

5. Do The Side Effects Go Away?

Side effects from diabetic medication get better over time as your body starts getting acquainted with those medications. However, if you still face certain side effects for over a month, consult your doctor asking when you can expect improvement or if there are other treatment options.

6. What Are The Symptoms To Notice If I Am Having Side Effects Due To Diabetic Medications?

The most common side effect of the diabetic medication is hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. Sometimes, these medications drop the sugar levels to such a great extent that diabetics start getting symptoms of hypoglycemia. Some of the symptoms of hypoglycemia include: [4]

  • Anxiety
  • Heart palpitations
  • Hunger
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Sweating
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Confusion
  • Seizures (in rare cases)

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7. What Lifestyle Changes Should I Follow?

Lifestyle changes such as modification in diet and regular exercise are the best way to manage diabetes. Both diet and exercise impact glucose levels, therefore, ask your doctor about how to make changes in them to get maximum benefits. If you are already on some diet and exercise regimen, consult your doctor every six months to evaluate whether these plans are benefitting or not. Other lifestyle changes include quitting smoking, maintaining an active lifestyle and limiting alcohol and high-fat meat products. [5]

8. Can I Reduce The Medication Doses?

If you have been noticing a steady improvement in your blood sugar levels, you can ask your doctor if the dosage of medications can be reduced.

9. What Foods Should I Avoid?

It is important to ask your doctor about foods that you must avoid in order to keep the diabetes symptoms from getting worse. Your doctor may advise you not to completely cut down on certain foods, rather replace those with their alternatives such as replacing red meat with lean meats and replacing sugar products with natural sugars like stevia.

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10. Do I Also Need To Have My Cholesterol And Blood Pressure Levels Checked?

People with diabetes are at higher risk of heart-related diseases due to increasing in cholesterol levels which tend to block the arteries and cause high blood pressure. Therefore, ask your doctor if it is necessary to get your cholesterol and blood pressure checked depending on your condition. If yes, the doctor may prescribe you some additional tests and medications. [6]

11. Will I Ever Be Able To Stop This Diabetic Treatment?

Though diabetes is a lifelong disease, in some cases, the treatment may be temporary. This happens when people with diabetes change their lifestyle and follow them strictly, followed by diabetic medications. In such individuals, their healthy lifestyle keeps their sugar levels in control and makes diabetes go into remission. [7]

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To Conclude

Every diabetic has a unique treatment plan which changes with time. The way you manage diabetes depends on you as only then, you can effectively manage it throughout your lifetime. Therefore, it is very important to ask the aforementioned questions to your doctor and also, stay in touch with them to evaluate your progress or deterioration.