Your first visit to the diabetic clinic or GP/HCP can often be confusing. As you (usually) have just been diagnosed, everything is rather scary as you have had very little information so far.
Questions you may want to ask at your clinic/review may include:
Who should I contact if I have questions about my diabetes?
How often will I have a diabetes clinic/review?
When can I see a dietitian?
You should be invited to have a retinal screening exam at least once a year (with the exception of children under 12). It’s important to have your retinal screening annually so, if they don’t give information about how and when it will be, be sure to ask them.
Bring any questions you may have to the clinic/review and have something to note down answers with.
Depending on how busy your clinic/practice is, you may be limited to a particular amount of time. You may wish to ask before the clinic/review whether this will be the case so that you have an idea how best to use the time.
Your diabetes clinic/review is all about helping you to manage your diabetes. However, clinics/reviews may only come around every few months or just once a year so be sure to prepare beforehand.
Bring a print out of your blood glucose results (if you are testing) and write down and bring any questions about your results to ask at the clinic/review.
If you are also documenting your diet and amount of physical activity, this will also be useful for your doctor/nurse/consultant to see.
HbA1c, cholesterol and blood pressure
HbA1c, cholesterol and blood pressure checks will be taken at least once a year. If you are unsure about what any of these results mean, be sure to ask at your clinic/review.
Information on the target values can be found in our diabetes health guidelines.
Complications, tiredness, digestion and depression
Note down any questions you may have on any of the following, and bring the questions with you to your clinic/review:
Any pain anywhere
Problems with your eyes
Any blisters, cuts, burns, redness, soreness etc affecting your feet, ankles or toes
Difficulty with digestion
Stress or depression
Problems going to the toilet, too much or not enough for example
Any regular instances of tiredness or lethargy
Education and home blood glucose testing
According to the NICE guidelines, people with diabetes should be offered:
Some form of structured education in managing their diabetes
Access to blood glucose testing to go with the education
A number of structured education courses exist for people with diabetes.
DAFNE –for people with type 1 diabetes
DESMOND –for people with type 2 diabetes
X-PERT –for all types of diabetes
If you have not been put on a structured diabetes education course, your diabetes clinic or review is an excellent place to ask about this.
Note that for people with type 2 diabetes, attendance of a structured education course will likely be necessary to have blood glucose testing supplies prescribed.
Home blood glucose testing
Access to self testing supplies should be a given for people with type 1 diabetes. For people with type 2 diabetes, it is not so much of a certainty.
Your diabetes clinic or review is a great place to ask about access to blood glucose testing. If you have not yet been put onto a structured education course, make sure you ask to be put onto one when you ask for access to blood glucose testing as this support your chance of having the supplies prescribed.
Read more on access to blood glucose testing
Annual diabetes review
Read more details on what you can expect and what to bring with you at your annual diabetes review