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Questions to Ask Your Doctor If You Have Diabetes

Receiving any new medical diagnosis can be a bewildering experience. And according to the American Diabetes Association, 1.5 million people will have been diagnosed with diabetes this year alone. Whether you receive the results through an online patient portal, over the phone or in the doctor’s office, you likely have a number of questions and concerns for your healthcare provider – that’s completely normal. In order to get the most out of the time you have with your healthcare provider, there are certain questions you should ask.

“I was somebody that tended to offer more encouragement and said, look, here’s what you can do,” Megan O’Neill, PA-C, CDCES and medical science liaison with Abbott’s diabetes care business told SheKnows. “So, I think is it healthy to ask, ‘what things can I do that can change the course of this diagnosis or my experience of it?’”  

O’Neill’s recommendation is a great place to start. Use these questions with your healthcare provider to create an honest and open dialogue about the condition, how it will impact your life and what you need to know in order to manage and treat it effectively.

As you explore treatment options and diabetes management options, ask your doctor about continuous glucose monitoring devices like Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre 2 system. The FreeStyle Libre 2 system is the only integrated CGM system available that continuously transmits glucose data every minute with customizable, optional real-time alarms to alert users when their glucose is high or low without scanning or painful fingersticks. Now available for children (ages 4 and older) and adults with diabetes, this latest technology sustains performance for up to 14 days1, providing trends, insights and actionable data, giving you peace of mind that you’re making the best choices for your health.

The most common questions

According to O’Neill, the most common questions she would receive after a diabetes diagnosis included “a lot of those big questions around ‘why?’, ‘what does this mean?’ and ‘what is my prognosis?’” She finds these types of questions to be constructive. More common questions O’Neill would often hear that are a great place to start with your own healthcare provider include:

  • Which type of diabetes do I have?
  • Do I need to take any medications?
  • Do I need to make any lifestyle changes?
  • What can I do to better manage my health?

Find encouragement

Bedside manner can be just as helpful as the actual answers your healthcare provider offers. “I focus on positive things… the empowerment regarding food choices, exercise, if they need to be taking medication and emphasizing that there’s a lot that they do have the ability to control,” O’Neill says.

To help find that encouragement, O’Neill says that asking a question like, ‘what things can I do that can change the course of this diagnosis or my experience of it?’ is also helpful and healthy.

This article was created by SheKnows for Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre 2 system.

About Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre 2 system:

The FreeStyle Libre 2 system includes a self-applied sensor (the size of two-stacked quarters) that is the easiest glucose sensor to apply and worn on the back of the upper arm, eliminating the need for painful fingersticks to test glucose levels.‡ Easily check your glucose levels with a painless2 one-second scan instead of a fingerstick.‡

WARNINGS/LIMITATIONS*: The System must not be used with automated insulin dosing (AID) systems, including closed loop and insulin suspend systems. Remove the sensor before MRI, CT scan, X-ray, or diathermy treatment. Do not take high doses of Vitamin C (more than 500mg per day), as this may falsely raise your Sensor readings. Failure to use the System according to the instructions for use may result in missing a severe low blood glucose or high blood glucose event and/or making a treatment decision that may result in injury. If glucose alarms and readings from the System do not match symptoms or expectations, use a fingerstick blood glucose value to make diabetes treatment decisions. Seek medical attention when appropriate and contact Abbott Toll Free (855-632-8658) or visit* for detailed indications for use and safety information.

*For full indications for use and safety information, see more here.

Notifications will only be received when alarms are turned on and the sensor is within 20 feet of the reading device

Fingersticks are required if your glucose alarms and readings do not match symptoms or when you see Check Blood Glucose symbol in the first twelve hours.

1Data on file. Abbott Diabetes Care.

2Haak T, et al. Flash glucose-sensing technology as a replacement for blood glucose monitoring for the management of insulin-treated type 2 diabetes: a multicentre, open-label randomised controlled trial. Diabetes Ther. 2017;8(1):55-73.

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