Type 1 Diabetes in Adults: What Should Be Done at Every PCP Appointment for the Type 1 Diabetic?

Even though your type 1 diabetes patients most likely see an endocrinologist to guide their diabetes management, there are some steps you as the patient's primary care provider can take to support the endocrinologist's treatment plan.  You will probably have a bigger picture of the patient's overall health, and so beyond checking in on their diabetes, you can also provide valuable information to the endocrinologist, if needed.

Thomas DeStefani, MD, moderates this panel of experts taking on the question:  What should be done at every PCP appointment for the type 1 diabetic?  He is joined by:

  • Amy Hess-Fischl, MS, RD, LDN, BC-ADM, CDE:  Certified Diabetes Educator at the University of Chicago Medical Center
  • Steven M. Armbrust, MD: Family Practice Physician
  • David Oyer, MD:  Endocrinologist

The panel suggests doing the following at every check-up:

  • Check their height and weight to see if there has been a marked change
  • Check their reflexes and other neurological signs
  • Examine the foot using a microfilament and tuning fork
  • Check circulation
  • Note any wounds
  • Ask when they last had their A1c done, as well as other lab tests, including a TSH
  • Ask if they've been sick recently
  • Check in on when they last went to the eye doctor and dentist (imporant in preventing long-term diabetes complications)
  • Talk to them about their diabetes goals and how they're doing meeting them
  • Ask how often they check their blood glucose levels
  • Check on their treatment adherence

As a PCP, you play a role in a patient's overall health over many years.  While remembering, of course, that type 1 diabetic patients are more than their diabetes diagnosis, it is worthwhile to check-in on how they are doing managing their diabetes.

The panel's suggestions in this video from our Endocrinology Highlights series are items you can implement in your practice today.

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Type 1 Diabetes in Adults: How Can the PCP Reinforce Diabetes Management?
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