Dealing with non-endo doctors

Hey all!

I was wondering if anyone had a good strategy for handling doctors (like primary care doctors) who aren’t experienced with type I. I’ve had a number of bad experiences in the last year with doctors looking at my chart and not even hearing my symptoms before jumping to the “it’s obviously diabetes” conclusion (one doctor told me my repetitive overuse injury from playing a D1 sport was the result of nerve damage in my shoulder from diabetes…after a nerve conduction study, I at least got to prove him wrong!) I have a pump and a CGM and am a bit obsessive about maintaining really tight control and when I try to explain this to doctors (or even tell them my A1c has been under 6% for the last two years) they still note diabetes as the cause of whatever problem and try to send me away. I had to see a doctor today about some chronic fatigue and dizziness and they didn’t even want to do basic blood panels–only wanted to recheck my A1c. I have to go back again soon and fight to figure out what is actually going on and was hoping to get some advice on how to steer the doc away from diabetes as the root of all my problems…


@Jacquebend hi Jacqueline

I have mixed emotions about this topic. First and most important, if a member of your team is not performing, you warn them and then if there is no improvement, fire them (period).

I have a non-diabetes primary care and she is awesome. She shy’s away from endo issues but has been instrumental in everything else. it’s ok because I can fortunately afford to see an endo for endo crap.

everything is diabetes can actually be helpful in insurance covering tests that would not ordinarily be covered, or partially covered, or etc… a good doctor a smart doctor knows when to write down insurance codes to cover a test, and what and when it is necessary.

chronic fatigue isn’t something a primary care is going to easily diagnose, compared to a broken arm. a bit of fishing is necessary to determine root cause and a understanding of the patient and any other mitigating factors such as sensitivity, depression, exposures…literally a bazillion things. hope you find the answers you need.

Hi Jacqueline @Jacquebend, it is so easy for a medical doctor, especially one who can not define T1D, to blame every ailment I encounter with “what do you expect, you have diabetes”. Yes, a “good” doctor, and I always request referrals for the best in the field, will look at the entire person and be able to see beyond the “Diabetic” label. An example: diabetes causes heart attacks, 1,800 people die every day in USA hospital ERs of heart attacks, therefore there are 1,800 fewer “diabetics” every day. In fact, very few people with diabetes die from “emergency” heart attacks - remind your doctor of this misuse.

If you are seeing an endocrinologist, that doctor should be able to relate to your symptoms and offer a more comprehensive analysis of your endocrine - which includes, among other matters, your thyroid.

This has not happened to me. I see an opthamologist and a separate retinal specialist for non diabetes related eye problems. I get some misconceptions, the retinal specialist thinks I had T1D since childhood (undiagnosed) since grown ups don’t get it (dork), but they are all writing in my chart that I have “no diabetes related complications”. My eye problems are due to extreme myopia.

Thanks everyone for the input! I’ll have to be a bit more picky next time I have to see a doctor…

If it were me, I’d find a new primary care doc with diabetes experience. Having said that and having been a diabetic for 24 years, many ailments can be related to diabetes. Good A1c or not, your immune system is compromised by diabetes. My issues are thyroid and cholesterol. Both directly related to diabetes. Any chest pains spark immediately panic from my internist and wife because of the heightened risk of heart disease.