Diabetes: 5 tips for preparing for your doctor visit

June 30, 2015

You probably see your doctor only a handful of times each year, but when you have diabetes it's especially  important make the most of those visits with a little advance preparation.

Diabetes: 5 tips for preparing for your doctor visit

1. List your questions

Doctor visits go by so fast that it's hard to remember everything you wanted to ask or mention unless you write it down.

  • To make sure you keep track of each question, number each item on your list, leave space to take notes, and check off each item after you've talked it over.
  • That way, even if you get sidetracked, you'll be able to refer back to your notes to know what still needs to be discussed.

2. Get lab tests done early

Your doctor may ask you to have tests prior to your appointment, and if you wait till the last minute, you may not get your results in time for your doctor to receive them.

3. Get info for lab work

Find out if you'll need to make an appointment at the lab, or if they have walk-in times.

  • Will you need to refrain from eating or drinking prior to the test or wear comfortable shoes and clothes if you're going for an exercise stress test?
  • Do you need to have lab work completed a certain number of days before your appointment?

4. Review your diet

Truth be told, if you're not careful, you can "out-eat" the effectiveness of most diabetes drugs.

Before your next visit, take an honest look at your diet and ask yourself if you're doing everything you can to eat better foods on a better schedule.

  • At what times of day do you generally eat? (Many diabetes medications are more effective when properly timed with meals.)
  • How often do you eat out? (It's much harder to keep calories under control when you eat outside your house.)
  • What are your portion sizes — small, medium, large or immense?
  • Do you limit sugary or high-fat foods?

Your doctor will probably ask about your food habits; if not, ask him if he would like to know what you eat and when you eat it.

5. Maintain your routine

Right before the doctor's appointment, eat and drink as you normally would. That is, unless your doctor told you to fast. (If you're not sure, call your doctor's office at least 24 hours before your next appointment and ask.)

  • If you're eating or drinking habits are out of the ordinary in any way on the day of an appointment or lab test, be sure to tell your doctor because that could cause an altered heart rate, blood pressure or test results.

Being prepared

Using these preparation tips could pay off later by eliminating the hassle of having to repeat an appointment because of a missed lab test or because you forgot to ask an important question.

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