If you are managing diabetes, you may want an endocrinologist as part of your management team.
You know you need to have a close, long-term relationship with your primary care physician. But if you also are managing diabetes, you may also need a similar relationship with an endocrinologist.
What Do Endocrinologists Do
An endocrinologist is a doctor who is trained to diagnose and treat diseases that are caused by hormonal imbalances. Diabetes Mellitus and thyroid disorders are the two most common disorders of the endocrine system that endocrinologists treat. Diabetes is fundamentally caused by hormonal imbalances between insulin and glucose so an endocrinologist specializing in diabetes care can be a vital member of your diabetes management team. He or she can prescribe insulin and other medications, provide diet assistance, and monitor blood glucose levels. And only an endocrinologist can stay sufficiently up to date on the latest research and new methods of treatment.
How to Start
If you think an endocrinologist would be a good addition to your diabetes management team, do some investigating. Check with local hospitals to see the providers they have available. You may also find the “Find an Endocrinologist” application on the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists website helpful. Finally, ask your primary physician. If he or she is resistant to the idea of adding a specialist, explain that you need all the expertise you can get to effectively manage your diabetes. Present it as a good move for everyone.
Narrow Your List
Once you’ve got a list, narrow it down. Factors to consider include:
Insurance. Does a prospective endocrinologist take your health insurance? While you’re at it, talk to your insurance company about deductibles, copays, etc.
Credentials. Board certification isn’t required, but it helps validate a physician’s training.
Personality. Determining whether a given doctor is a good fit may be possible only by meeting him or her. If you can arrange it, it’s a great way of finding just the right doctor.
Finding a specialist can be time consuming, but if you do your homework, you will succeed. There are 5,200 members of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. With so many members, chances are good you’ll find just the right provider for you.
For more information, visit our website at http://www.focuspharmacy.com or call us toll-free at 1-866-403-6287. Our experienced staff will be happy to answer your questions about endocrinology and diabetes.