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What is Diabetologist?

1. Who Is a Diabetologist?

A diabetologist is an endocrinologist who specializes in treatment, management and prevention of complications of diabetes mellitus. To become a diabetologist, after graduating from medical school, a doctor completes a residency program in internal medicine or pediatrics followed by a fellowship in endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism or its pediatric counterpart.
A diabetologist provides care and treatment to diabetes patients. You may consult a diabetologist or a
diabetologist online service if you have diabetes or if you have a family history of diabetes. A diabetologist can educate you on lifestyle management measures to prevent and manage diabetes and its complications, including diabetic retinopathy, nephropathy, neuropathy, diabetic foot, and others. A diabetologist may coordinate with other medical specialists such as cardiologists, dentists, podiatrists, ophthalmologists, dermatologists, neurologists, and nephrologists as well as with other health professionals including nurses, dieticians, and physical therapists.

2. When Should I See a Diabetologist?

You should see a diabetologist if you have diabetes and are concerned about the complications of the disease. Your primary doctor may also recommend you to see a diabetologist especially if your blood sugar level is not controlled with your current medication. A diabetologist can monitor, treat, and manage:

• Type 1 diabetes
• Type 2 diabetes
• Other types of diabetes, including maturity onset diabetes of the young (MODY), gestational diabetes, and others
• Diabetic retinopathy and other diabetes-related eye complications
• Foot complications
• Diabetic neuropathy
• Diabetic nephropathy
• Diabetic ketoacidosis
• Skin complications
• Hyperosmolar hyperglycemic nonketotic syndrome (HHNS)
• Diabetic complications of pregnancy

3. What Tests Does a Diabetologist Perform or Recommend?

The diabetologist may request tests including:

• Oral glucose tolerance test
• Fasting blood glucose test
• Haemoglobin A1C test
• Continuous glucose monitoring
• Ketone testing
• Complete blood count
• Lipid profile
• Urine tests
• Kidney function tests
• Immunologic tests
• Genetic tests
• Imaging tests (ultrasound, MRI, SPECT/CT, PET/CT)
• Electrocardiography (ECG)
• Comprehensive eye examination
• Neurological tests

4. What Questions Should I Ask a Diabetologist?

You may want to ask a diabetologist online or in person these kinds of questions:

• What are my risks of developing diabetes if I have a family history of diabetes? What can I do to reduce this risk?
• Which factors increase my risk of developing diabetes?
• How can I monitor my blood sugar level at home?
• Should I exercise? How much physical activity is recommended for me? What type of exercise do you recommend?
• What diet should I follow? Are there foods I should avoid? How often can I eat? What snacks can I have between meals?
• Should I lose weight? What can I do to lose weight?
• What other lifestyle changes can I make to improve my condition?
• Should I take any vitamins or other supplements?
• What should I do in case of hypoglycemia (very low blood sugar)?
• What treatment do you recommend? Is there any alternative to this treatment?
• Do I need insulin? What is the right way to take insulin? What happens if I miss it? What are the side effects of insulin?
• What are my chances of developing other diseases such as hypertension and heart diseases?
• What are the complications of diabetes? What can I do to prevent them? What symptoms should I watch for?
• Should I continue taking my other medicines?
• Can I try alternative medicine and herbal remedies?
• Could I benefit from transplant surgery?
• What are the signs of an emergency?
• How often should I have follow-up visits?
• Are other people in my family at risk of getting this disease?
• Are there any support groups for this disease? How should I find one?