When Diabetes Is Not Your Only Health Concern
Steps to improve your health in the wake of many chronic conditions:
Use a small binder with different sections for:
a. Contact information of all your providers, pharmacy, insurance, suppliers, and anyone else you might call regarding your healthcare.
b. Updated medication list including supplements and allergies (with drug name, doses, how often taken, any side effects) and copies for your healthcare team.
c. Copies of laboratory and diagnostic tests. It is your right to ask for copies of all laboratory tests.
d. List of medical problems and surgeries.
e. Questions to ask at next visit.
a. Be prepared with a list of concerns before going to your appointment.
b. Show your medication list at each visit. Have a copy ready to provide if possible. Ask your doctor and pharmacist about any possible adverse drug interactions within your list. Many pharmacists have the ability to enter all your medications into the computer to run a reporton possible adverse reactions. For example, one doctor may have ordered you take Humalog insulin for meals and another order Glyburide before meals. Taking both together is usually not recommended (they both lower glucose and so you'd be at a higher risk for low blood glucose or hypoglycemia)
c. Before getting more lab tests, ask your doctor or healthcare provider to look at the copies of results in your binder. You may be able to prevent duplicative tests.
d. Talk about your symptoms or treatments. Ask if the treatment may aggravate the other condition. For example, Prednisone is used for COPD or rheumatoid arthritis, amongst others. It is notorious for raising blood glucose. Ask your doctor for a plan to address the glucose levels while you are taking Prednisone.
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Many people say that depression is a side effect or complication of diabetes. Without discounting the association of the psychological condition with the physical one, I'm not convinced that our high and/or unstable glucose levels are directly responsible for that change in our mental state. My belief is that the unrelenting need for self-care, for following the sort of care schedules that can drive licensed, professional caregivers crazy, is what overwhelms us...