Quality Health Care and You - Diabetes
Talking with Your Healthcare Providers
Many people with chronic medical problems often feel frustrated as they try to get answers about their medical care. Here are a few suggestions to help make your doctor appointments more successful:
Remember that sometimes doctors do not know the answers you want. While medicine is a science, it is an evolving one, and not everything is known. Sometimes the best that doctors can do is tell you what you do NOT have, and they may not be able to give you that specific answer your want.
Medicine is also an art, and some doctors are better than others. Do not hesitate to get a second opinion if you want to.
Learning to be assertive for your own health is important. Here are some ways to help you get the answers you need:
Keep a notebook with your questions and symptoms in it. Bring it with you to all your appointments, so you remember what you want to tell and ask the doctor.
Write down what the doctor tells you, or have the doctor write things down for you.
Bring an advocate with you. If you are uncomfortable asking questions, bring a friend or family member who can ask for you.
Questions to Ask the Doctor
Visiting the doctor can be stressful. It helps to have questions written down before your appointment. Print out this list of questions, and take it with you the next time you visit the doctor.
Am I at risk for type 2 diabetes?
Does my weight put me at risk for diabetes?
Are there any warning signs of diabetes I should look out for?
How can I find out if I have diabetes?
What changes can I make to my diet to prevent or delay diabetes?
How much physical activity should I do to prevent or delay diabetes?
If I’m overweight, how many pounds do I have to lose to prevent or delay diabetes?
What are healthy ways to lose weight and keep it off?
What are my blood pressure numbers and cholesterol levels? What should they be?
Do my blood pressure and cholesterol numbers put me at risk for diabetes?
Can you give me information about preventing diabetes to take home?
Are there local diabetes prevention programs you can recommend?
These questions were taken from Preventing Diabetes: Questions for the doctor at Healthfinder.gov.
You may find additional help communicating with your physician at:
Hope Through Research - You Can Be Part of the Answer!
Many research studies are underway to help us learn about eye diseases. Would you like to find out more about being part of this exciting research? Please visit the following links:
For more information:
Go to the Quality Health Care and You - Diabetes
health topic, where you can:
- Read articles on this topic
- Browse commonly asked questions
- Learn about health research and how to participate
This article is a NetWellness exclusive.
Last Reviewed: Feb 20, 2014
Nancy Elder, MD
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati