One of the most powerful and simple tools you can use to take control of your diabetes is to follow a diabetes warranty program.
Steven V. Edelman, M.D.
Founder & Director, Take Control of Your Diabetes
“As a physician who cares for people with diabetes, I love it when my patients keep good records of their medical problems, medications, other doctors they see, tests, etc.”
The concept is similar to the warranty program for a new or used car. If you follow the scheduled maintenance, your car will run better and last longer. Following a diabetes warranty program will also help you detect, as early as possible, any complications, such as eye, kidney, or nerve disease, that may arise over time.
If you follow the diabetes warranty program, you’ll feel better and live a longer, healthier life. Please don’t get overwhelmed with the things those of us with diabetes need to do. It will become a normal part of your life, and you will be in better shape in the long run.
All people with diabetes need a document that lists recommended tests with dates and results like this:
This information is vital for us as patients, but also for our healthcare providers (HCPs), so they can diagnose and track common problems that can occur.
If you discover that a test or exam has not been done, discuss it with your HCP and request it. Staying healthy is much easier when you take preventive measures. Most HCPs will be glad to help with your requests if they are appropriate and reasonable.
It’s also helpful to have a basic information sheet about your medical history. Much of your medical history does not change and is easy to update periodically. The information can include date of diabetes diagnosis, types of treatments you’ve received, incidence of hypoglycemia, other medical conditions, hospitalizations, surgery, medications, allergies, and relevant family history.
Keep these files on your computer so you can update them and print them out for your healthcare visits when needed. As a physician who cares for people with diabetes, I love it when my patients keep good records of their medical problems, medications, other doctors they see, tests, etc. It helps me take better care of them.
What to expect
The standards of care call for certain things to be done at office visits, including checking your weight and blood pressure, a discussion of your home glucose monitor results, your CGM results (if appropriate), and laboratory values. (You should have had your blood drawn a few days before your appointment). A foot exam may be needed, especially if you are experiencing a problem or have loss of sensation (neuropathy).
Certain tests and exams must be done every year in order to initiate therapy when needed to avoid complications. A yearly cholesterol panel, kidney test, dilated eye exam and thyroid level check are a few of the important ones. You may need to see a periodontist, cardiologist, podiatrist, stomach specialist, etc., on an annual or more frequent basis.
In addition to following the diabetes warranty program, you should know about available tests and be aware of therapies available for any abnormality or problem. Knowing your results is one thing, but finding out what to do with them is an important next step.
Be as prepared as possible for your healthcare visits so you can get the most out of those precious moments. This is what taking control of your diabetes is all about!