What Is the Diabetes Health Care Team?
Managing your diabetes takes a team working together to get the job done.
Your diabetes health care team will help develop a treatment plan that's made just for you. Also, the team can help you cope with some of the emotions and feelings that people with diabetes have to deal with.
Who Is on the Diabetes Health Care Team?
You'll probably meet one or more of these diabetes health care team members during your checkups:
A doctor on the team will lead your diabetes care. Often this person is a pediatric endocrinologist or diabetes specialist. They’ll stay in touch with the whole team to coordinate care and will:
- make and monitor your diabetes management plan
- prescribe and adjust insulin as needed
- answer your questions
Your primary care provider (usually a pediatrician or family doctor) will still provide care as usual and stay in contact with the diabetes care team.
Nurses and Diabetes Educators
Nurses and diabetes educators can help you put your care plan into practice every day. They will:
- explain what diabetes is and how it affects the body
- teach you how to use insulin injections or an insulin pump
- explain how to treat high and low blood sugar levels
- show you how to adjust medicines for exercise and sick days
- show you how to test blood sugar levels, work the blood glucose meter, and test the accuracy of blood sugar monitoring equipment used at home
- check on progress with the care plan goals
- discuss any challenges
A Registered Dietitian
A registered dietitian will guide you on meal planning to help keep your blood sugars steady. The dietitian will:
- teach you to read labels, count carbohydrates (carbs), and adjust meals
- share recipe and snack ideas
- communicate with the care team
- answer your questions about meal planning, carb counting, and blood sugars
A Mental Health Provider
It can take time to get used to living with diabetes, and sometimes you may need extra support. A mental health provider can be a social worker, psychologist, psychiatrist, or counselor. They can:
- give ideas to help you adjust at home, work, or school
- help you cope with new feelings or routines
- connect you to support groups or services (like financial help to pay for supplies)
Always remember that you don't have to manage diabetes on your own. You can count on your team members to support you and answer your questions — the team has lots of experience with helping people deal with diabetes.
Reviewed by: Melanie L. Pitone, MD
Date reviewed: October 2021