Being diagnosed with diabetes can be a daunting experience. However, your first visit to the diabetic clinic or GP/HCP can provide the information you need to manage your condition effectively. It’s important to be prepared for your first visit to make the most of the opportunity to learn about diabetes management and ask questions.
Here is a guide to help you prepare for your first diabetic clinic visit:
Questions to Ask
Your first diabetic clinic visit can be confusing, especially if you have just been diagnosed. It’s essential to ask questions and clarify any concerns you have about managing your diabetes. Here are some questions you may want to ask at your clinic/review:
- Who should I contact if I have questions about my diabetes?
- How often will I have a diabetes clinic/review?
- When can I see a dietitian?
- When and how can I have my retinal screening exam?
- How much time will be available for my appointment?
Your diabetic clinic/review aims to help you manage your diabetes effectively. However, clinics/reviews may only come around every few months or just once a year, so be sure to prepare beforehand. Bring a printout of your blood glucose results and document your diet and physical activity.
HbA1c, Cholesterol, and Blood Pressure
It’s essential to know what HbA1c, cholesterol, and blood pressure tests are and their targets. These tests are usually taken at least once a year. If you’re unsure about what your results mean, be sure to ask your doctor or nurse.
Complications, Tiredness, Digestion, and Depression
Your first diabetic clinic visit is an opportunity to ask questions about any pain, digestion problems, stress or depression, and instances of tiredness or lethargy. Note down any questions you may have and bring them with you to your clinic/review.
Education and Home Blood Glucose Testing
People with diabetes should have access to structured education in managing their diabetes, and home blood glucose testing should be available. If you have not been put on a structured diabetes education course, your diabetic clinic/review is an excellent place to ask about this. Access to self-testing supplies should be available for people with type 1 diabetes, but it may not be a certainty for people with type 2 diabetes.
All people with diabetes should undergo an annual diabetes care review. At this review, the doctor or nurse will review your long-term blood glucose control, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure, as well as discussing any issues you have with your diabetes or health in general. Your health results will be checked, and you may also be asked about depression or sexual dysfunction.
Eye and Foot Examinations
Diabetes retinopathy screening and having your feet examined are part of your annual review. It’s essential to have your retinal screening annually, and your general eyesight should be checked either at your annual review or as part of your retinopathy screening appointment. For more information on retinopathy screening and foot examinations, see your diabetes health screening pages.
What to Bring/Prepare
To prepare for your first diabetic clinic visit, you’ll usually need to book an appointment, bring any questions you may have, and a notebook to note down answers. You should also bring a printout of your blood glucose results, document your diet and physical activity, and any medication you are taking.
In conclusion, your first diabetic clinic visit can be overwhelming, but it’s important to prepare beforehand, ask questions, and clarify any concerns you may have.