Diabetes Doctors: Which Specialists Treat Diabetes?
Diabetes impacts your blood sugar levels, and you might need various treatments. Several doctors can help you to manage your condition and maintain your health. The severity and type of your diabetes indicate the kind of specialists to treat you.
The UAE is among the top nations with high numbers of diabetic patients. Figures from the International Diabetes Federation indicate that in 2017, 425 million adults between the ages of 20 and 79 years lived with diabetes. Annual screening is necessary, especially if you have a relative with diabetes or have a body mass index of above 30. It’s also important to exercise regularly and consume healthy foods.
Types of Diabetes
Diabetes is a chronic condition that occurs when your pancreas cannot produce insulin anymore or when your body can’t utilize insulin effectively. There are three types of diabetes. You can get type 1 diabetes at any age, but it occurs mostly in adolescents and children. If you have this type of diabetes, your pancreas makes little or no insulin.
Type 2 diabetes occurs mostly in adults and is the most common type of diabetes. It is more common in overweight or obese people. High Blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking are some of the common risk factors that predispose one to develop Diabetes. If you have this type of diabetes, your Pancreas either does not sufficiently produce insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin produced by Pancreas. You can manage type 2 diabetes by exercising, dieting, weight loss and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. In time, you might require prescription medication.
Gestational Diabetes occurs during pregnancy, and it affects both the mother and baby. It is characterized by high blood glucose. This condition disappears after the gestation period; however, the mother and child have a high chance of developing type 2 diabetes.
Which Specialists Treat Diabetes?
Several specialists can be helpful while treating someone with diabetes. Each physician plays a different role. Here are experts who deal with diabetes:
General Care(delete word care) Physicians
Primary care physicians are important because they are among the first specialists to notice when your blood sugar levels have increased. This is often detected during routine checkups and screening.
Your family doctor conducts various screening tests, including checking for diabetes. If you have diabetes, this physician will prescribe medication and help you to manage this condition. He may also refer you to other diabetes doctors who can treat and manage this condition. Often, your primary care doctor will work together with other specialists to maintain your health.
An endocrinologist is a diabetes expert. This physician specializes in the endocrine gland system. Endocrinologists work with a team of other specialists to manage diabetes. People with type 1 diabetes seek treatment from an endocrinologist. But patients with type 2 diabetes can be managed by their primary care doctor most of the time but in some cases might need an Endocrinologist only if they experience difficulties in maintaining their blood sugar levels
Patients with diabetes have a higher risk of developing kidney disease with time. It takes many years for uncontrolled Diabetes to cause Kidney disease. A nephrologist is an expert in kidney disease. Your family doctor can conduct six monthly tests to ensure that your kidneys are not affected by Diabetes.The nephrologist helps manage your kidney disease, if present. You don’t need to see a Nephrologist if your kidney functions tests done by your primary doctor are normal.
An ophthalmologist is among the specialists involved in treating diabetes. Over time, patients with diabetes develop eye complications because of high sugar levels that damage the delicate eye structures and retina. These complications include diabetic macular edema, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and cataracts.
When you’re diagnosed with diabetes, you are referred to an ophthalmologist for basic examination. The specialist checks for diabetic retinopathy and other complications of the eyes associated with diabetes. An annual visit to the eye doctor can help you in the early detection of diseases of the eyes caused by diabetes.
A podiatrist is a foot specialist and helps diabetic patients maintain their foot health which is prevalent in patients with diabetes. Patients who have difficulties controlling their blood sugar levels are at a higher risk of developing diabetic neuropathy. This condition changes how the nerves in the lower legs and feet relay messages to the brain.
Diabetic neuropathy is a serious condition because it can cause you to lose feeling in your feet and legs. For instance, you could step on a sharp object and not feel pain. If you get an infection, it might not heal as it should because of the elevated blood sugar levels. In extreme cases, some patients have lower limbs, feet, and toes amputated because of this condition. Regular visits to the foot doctor can help in the early detection of foot ulcers.
Heart diseases are extremely common in patients with Diabetes because these have similar risk factors. Majority of deaths in patients with Diabetes are due to cardiovascular diseases. A Cardiologist helps you to maintain your heart health despite battling diabetes.
A diabetes dietician is a specialist who offers evidence-based dietary advice to patients with diabetes based on medication, nutritional status, lifestyle, and diabetes control. A dietician helps you to control this condition by understanding the most appropriate diet that one should consume.
This specialist also helps you to reduce the risk of getting diabetes-related complications like kidney failure and cardiovascular disease. You need several visits to your dietician because you need to develop a diet plan that helps to manage your blood sugar levels. You should see a dietician whether you’re newly diagnosed with diabetes or you’ve been managing it for a while. You can keep a food diary and show your dietician during your visits to help the specialist determine how your diet affects your blood sugar levels.
Diabetes is not a life sentence, and you can live a perfectly healthy life by following your doctor’s advice. Several specialists work together to treat patients with diabetes, depending on the severity of the case.