Sunday, May 22, 2016

Doctor Appointments & Your Healthcare Team

Author's Perspective: Unfortunately, most doctors are ill-equipped to help you with your Type 2 diabetes. They can only offer two plans of treatment: drugs and surgery.
But, that doesn't mean you shouldn't see your doctor!   

Doctor Appointments  

Appointments with your doctor are very important. But, you must takeDoctor and Patient an active role in the appointments. Do not blindly accept drugs from your doctor as the primary solution to your diabetes.
As explained in Chapter 11 of Death to Diabetes, come prepared to your appointments and ask specific questions to get the most out of your appointments and to avoid anymedical mistakes.
You should ensure that you set up the necessary doctor appointments during the calendar year as specified by your doctor (Primary Care Physician). If possible, try to schedule your appointments during the same time period each year. The following is a list of the key doctor visits that you should complete during the year. 

Visit
Purpose
Frequency
Primary Care Physician/ Endocrinologist
Check blood glucose, hemoglobin A1C, kidney tests, nerves (foot exam)
Every 3 to 6 months
Primary Care Physician
Physical exam; Other tests: blood pressure, cholesterol, kidneys, liver
Annual
Ophthalmologist
Eye tests for retinopathy, cataracts, glaucoma
Every 6 months or annual
Wellness coach;
Dietitian/Nutritionist
Wellness planning;
Nutritional planning, etc.
As required
Dentist
Cleaning of teeth and gums, dental examinations
Cleaning: every 3 mos.
Exams: annual
Podiatrist
Examination of feet for nerve damage
Every 3 to 6 months or as required

You should visit your primary care physician and/or endocrinologist on a regular basis to review your progress, your blood glucose readings, corrective actions, and other notes – at least until you have your blood glucose level under control.
Depending on your health needs and your health goals, you should get a complete physical and set of blood work every 6 to 12 months to identify any trends that may be getting overlooked, especially if you’re not making any significant improvements. 
Concerning your feet, you should always clean and inspect them daily. Record any abnormalities to discuss with your physician at your next visit. Keep your feet clean and moist; and wear cotton socks for better absorbency. Concerning your teeth/gums, you should always check them for any bleeding that doesn’t stop, and, notify your dentist and primary care physician immediately. Gum disease can increase internal inflammation and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Depending on your health needs and your health goals, other members of your diabetes care team may include one or more of the following: cardiologist, neurologist, nephrologist, physiotherapist, naturopathic doctor, or psychiatrist. Other members may include a wellness coach, diabetes educator, pharmacist, community health nurse, or social worker.
Doctor Appointments 
One of the best ways to manage your diabetes is to develop an effective working partnership with your doctor. Your doctor’s role in this partnership is to provide medical advice, offer treatment options and recommend resources. Your role is to monitor your symptoms and blood glucose readings, report them accurately and do what you can to manage your disease on a day-to-day basis.
Doctor appointments are very important, but most people come ill-prepared to take full advantage of the time with their doctor. Then, they complain about the doctor not taking enough time with them. Or, they don’t ask the doctor any pertinent questions; or, they don’t bother to take any notes and forget what the doctor told them. The doctor could spend more time with them, but they must first take full advantage of the time that they have with their doctor. Then, they will be pleasantly surprised how well their doctor responds when they take a more active role in their health.
Empower Yourself. Don't be intimidated by your doctor. Don't take what your doctor says at face value. Your doctor doesn't know everything, in fact he/she is only making an educated guess as to what is wrong with you. Use his services as a tool but don't base your life on what your doctor says or think that a few little pills he/she prescribes will fix the problem... it won't. You'll only require more pills to counteract the side effects that the first pills gave you and that will escalate with each new prescription you are given. So, make sure that you learn the truth about your doctor and some of his motives.
Don't take the easy way out. Question and research everything. The body can and does heal itself if given the right tools. Your health is the most important thing you will ever have and once it is lost, the biggest loser is you.
For more details about doctors appointments, how to plan, and how to talk to your doctor, refer to Chapter 11 of Death to Diabetes, or get the Doctor Visits and Blood Tests PDF.
Questions for Your Doctor about Treatment Options
When considering any treatment options, whether they're considered curative or palliative, there are some essential questions you will want to ask your doctor.
  1. What treatments are available for my illness? What about this new treatment I found on the Internet?Your doctor should tell you what treatments are standard for your illness. Your doctor will not always share the option of palliative care or hospice without being asked directly. If you are interested in finding out how palliative care or hospice can help you, be sure to ask.

    Unfortunately, when most patients mention that they did their own research and found something on the Internet, the doctor usually frowns or laughs instead of applauding you for doing your own research. Why is that? Maybe it's because some of the information on the Internet is not true, but, more than likely, it's because your doctor wants to control you by keeping you in the dark.

    Author's Note: When I told my endocrinologist that I had found some information on the Internet, he laughed and said: "You can't believe anything you read on the Internet."

    And, I said: "What if the information came from PubMed or some other medical research database?" My endocrinologist just frowned and left the room.
  2. What are the chances that a particular treatment will be effective?Some treatments are standard and very effective. If you have tried treatments before that have lost their effectiveness or haven’t worked at all, ask your doctor about less standard and experimental treatments. Knowing what the chances are that a treatment will provide relief will help you determine if the benefits of the treatment are worth any risks.
  3. Will this treatment prolong my life?Some treatments will target symptoms of an illness without extending life. You will want to know whether the treatment you're considering will extend your life and based on your goals of care, you can decide if that indeed what you want.
  4. What are the risks of a particular treatment?This may the most important question to ask. Just about every treatment has some sort of undesired consequence or side effect. Depending on your goals of care, a particular risk may not be worth the potential benefit. For example, if the treatment will likely make you feel sick, weak, and tired but not cure your illness, you might decide to forgo it to focus on quality of life.
  5. How will this treatment affect my other medical conditions and treatments?Some treatments have unintended effects on other medical conditions or treatments. For example, a patient with lung disease, heart disease, and kidney disease may take steroids to control lung disease, which can lead to increased water retention making their heart disease worse. Then, taking diuretics to control water retention and swelling can lead to worsening kidney failure. Finding out how potential side effects will affect any other illnesses will help you decide if the treatment is worth it.
  6. If this treatment doesn’t work, what is our next step?You will want to know where your heading if things don’t go as hoped. Having a plan in place will make any new decision easier to make.

Healthcare Team

People with diabetes work with an extensive diabetes care team, which may include a primary doctor, dietitian, diabetes educator, diabetes health coach, eye doctor, foot doctor, dentist, and possibly an exercise trainer. But remember, you are the most important member of your diabetes care team. Your health care team is available to help you manage your diabetes and maintain your good health.
Your diabetes care team should include most or all of the following:
  • You: You are the most important member of your diabetes care team. Only you know how you feel. Your diabetes care team will depend on you to talk to them honestly and supply information about your body. Monitoring your blood sugar is an important part of effective therapy. It tells your doctors whether your current treatment is effective. Your participation in monitoring your blood sugar levels will also help prevent or reduce the episodes of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
  • Primary doctor: Your primary care doctor is the doctor you see for general checkups and when you get sick. This person is usually an internist or family medicine doctor who has experience treating people with diabetes. Because your primary care doctor is your main source of care, he or she will most likely head up your diabetes care team.
  • Endocrinologist: An endocrinologist/diabetologist should also be seen regularly. An endocrinologist is a doctor who has special training and experience in treating people with diabetes.
  • Dietitian: A registered dietitian (RD) is trained in the field of nutrition. Because food is a key part of your diabetes treatment, a dietitian is very important. Your dietitian helps you figure out your food needs based on your weight, lifestyle, medication, and other health goals (such as lowering blood fat levels or blood pressure).
  • Diabetes health coach: one of our trained specialists in the fields of medical science, diabetes pathology, nutrition, meal planning, lifestyle, and spiritual health can help you in many ways with our phone coaching sessions.
  • Nurse educator: A nurse/diabetes educator or diabetes nurse practitioner is a registered nurse (RN) with special training and background in caring for and teaching people with diabetes. Nurse educators often help you learn the day-to-day aspects of diabetes self-care.
  • Eye Doctor: This doctor is another key member of your diabetes care team because diabetes can affect the blood vessels in the eyes. The eye doctor will be either an ophthalmologist (doctor who can treat eye problems both medically and surgically) or an optometrist (someone who is trained to examine the eye for certain problems, such as how well the eye focuses; optometrists are not medical doctors). You should see your eye doctor at least once a year.
  • Podiatrist: This health professional is trained to treat feet and problems of the lower legs. For anyone with diabetes, which can cause nerve damage in the extremities, foot care is important. Podiatrists have a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) degree from a college of podiatry. They have also done a residency (hospital training) in podiatry.
  • Dentist: People with diabetes are at somewhat greater -- and earlier -- risk of gum disease. The excess blood sugar in your mouth makes it a nice home for bacteria, which can lead to infection. You should see your dentist every six months. Be sure to tell your dentist that you have diabetes.
  • Exercise trainer: Exercise plays a major role in your diabetes care, no matter what kind of diabetes you have. The best person to plan your fitness program -- along with your doctor -- is someone trained in the scientific basis of exercise and in safe conditioning methods.

How Often Should I See My Doctor if I Have Diabetes?

People with diabetes who are treated with insulin shots generally should see their doctor at least every three to four months. Those who are treated with pills or who are managing diabetes through diet should be seen at least every four to six months. More frequent visits may be necessary if your blood sugar is not controlled or if complications of diabetes are worsening.

What Information Does My Doctor Need About My Diabetes?

Generally, your doctor needs to know how well your diabetes is controlled and whether diabetic complications are starting or getting worse. Therefore, at each visit, provide your doctor with your home blood sugar monitoring record and report any symptoms of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or hyperglycemia (high blood sugar).
Your doctor also should be informed of any changes in your diet, exercise, or medicines and of any new illnesses you may have developed. Tell your doctor if you have experienced any symptoms of eye, nerve, kidney, or cardiovascular problems such as:
  • Blurred vision.
  • Numbness or tingling in your feet.
  • Persistent hand, feet, face, or leg swelling.
  • Cramping or pain in the legs.
  • Chest pain.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Numbness or weakness on one side of your body.
  • Unusual weight gain.
Refer to Chapter 11 of Death to Diabetes for more details.

What Lab Tests Should I Have for Diabetes?

If you have diabetes, your lab tests should include:
  • Blood glucose
  • Hemoglobin A1c
  • Blood pressure
  • Urine Tests
  • Cholesterol (lipid profile)
  • Cardiac risk factors (optional)
Refer to this web page for more details about blood tests.

How Many Drugs Should I Be Taking for My Diabetes?

Ideally, you shouldn't be taking any drugs for a disease that is primarily due to poor eating habits!

Unfortunately, most diabetics start out with the drug metformin (Glucophage), and eventually transition to multiple drugs, until one day they have to go on insulin.

Most diabetics take other drugs besides the diabetic drugs. The most common drugs that diabetics are given are drugs for high blood pressure (i.e. lisinopril, HTCZ) and high cholesterol (i.e. Lipitor, Zocor).

Unfortunately, the combination of these drugs tend to make your diabetes even worse.

Educate yourself about drugs, and understand the relationship between your doctor and the pharmaceutical companies.

Your Rights to Your Medical Records

As explained in Chapter 11 of the Death to Diabetes book, it is very important to obtain and maintain copies of your personal medical records.  You need your records especially when you decide to talk to another doctor or health coach, who may not have access to your records.
Your medical records are vitally important for a number of reasons. They obviously are the method by which your current doctors follow your health and your health care. They're also important to provide background if you need to see a specialist and to bring new doctors up-to-speed. Your medical records are the records of the people with whom you literally entrust your life. Let's explore some of the issues regarding medical records.
According to federal law, you have the right to get copies of most medical records, whether they are paper copies, or electronic health records. Doctors' notes, medical test results, lab reports and billing information must be supplied to you if you ask properly.
The federal law that addresses our medical records is called HIPAA (pronounced HIP-a), the Health Information Portability Accountability Act. These rules mostly address privacy issues, but are so extensive that many healthcare providers are still confused about how to enforce them. That confusion sometimes makes it difficult for you to get your records, even when you are entitled to them.
How to Request Your Medical Records
Most practices and facilities ask you to fill out a form to request your records. Call the provider's office and request a copy of the form. They should be able to deliver it to you by fax, e-mail, or postal mail, or you may pick it up from the doctor's office.
If the doctor's office doesn't have a specific form, you may write a letter to make your request. Include this information:
  • your name, including your maiden name (if applicable)
  • Social Security number
  • date of birth
  • address and phone number
  • e-mail address
  • record(s) being requested
  • date(s) of service (months and years under the doctor's care)
  • signature
  • delivery option (pick up, fax, e-mail, etc.)
Simply drop off or mail the letter to the provider's office.
If your doctor is no longer in practice, or for some reason you can't locate the doctor or office where you think your records should be, there are some steps you can take to locate your medical records.
What Happens Next
Once you have made the request, you may have to wait for awhile before you get the records.
State laws regulate how quickly those records must be supplied to a patient. In some states, you'll be given access to review them in the doctor's office immediately but may have to wait from 10 to 60 days to obtain your own copies. Other states require access within 30 days. Georgetown University provides access to the medical records regulations healthcare providers must adhere to in all 50 states. Those time frames may sometimes be extended if circumstances warrant.
Once you've obtained copies of your records, be sure to review them carefully. If you find errors, you'll want to correct them immediately to be sure they cannot affect any future diagnoses or treatment you may receive.
What If You Are Denied Access to Your Records?
There is a protocol and complaint system to follow if you are denied access or copies of your medical records.
Just because the law says you have a right to get copies of your medical records doesn't mean all covered entities are willing to supply them. Your doctor or your insurer may deny you access for reasons that make no sense to you, but for some reason are important to them. In most cases, it's illegal for them to deny you access, according to HIPAA laws.

Here are the steps to take to determine whether you have a legal right to your medical records, and what to do if you are denied access to your medical records:
First, do you have the right to access your records? and Are they available?
Be sure you have a right to get those records, and that the records are available. There are some circumstances under which you do not have a right to them. Also, there are medical records storage time requirements which vary by the type of record and where it is being kept.

Simply making a phone call may not be enough. There are certain steps you may need to take, including letter-writing and signatures. Included in the protocol is payment for the records. You may be required to pay for your medical records before they are provided. The amount you can be charged will vary by state. If you can't afford them, each state also provides a procedure for reducing the cost.

Be sure you have made the request from a "covered entity."
Covered entities within HIPAA are individuals or organization who provides healthcare services to a patient, pays for healthcare services, or interfaces with patients' records. They include:
  • Providers, like doctors and physician practices
  • Facilities, like hospitals or laboratories
  • Insurers and payers or any entity that involves payment for healthcare services
  • Technology providers, like electronic records and transfer businesses
If you make your request from a non-covered entity then your request will not fall under HIPAA laws and requirements. Find one of the covered entities that has your records and make the request there.

Be sure you have waited the entire length of time the organization has, by law, to delay fulfilling your request. By federal law, the maximum amount of time they can delay is 60 days. Some states provide for less time than that. Check with your state's laws to learn what your wait time will have to be.

How to make a complaint if you are denied access to your medical records
Be sure you have followed all these steps:

    Being sure you have a right to those records
    Following the right steps and protocol to getting your medical records
    Double checking that you have made the request of a covered entity
    You have waited long enough...

Once you are sure you have them completed, if you are still being denied access to your health records, you can make a complaint to the US Department of Health and Human Services. Follow their complaint process against the covered entity that is denying you access.

Important: this complaint must be filed within 180 days of the denials. Also, the law prohibits retaliation on the part of the covered entity.

These medical records laws do have teeth. They were tested by Cignet Health, a Maryland health center, when it denied records to 41 patients in 2008 and 2009. In 2011 $4.3 million worth of fines were levied against Cignet Health for violating the law. That action came as a result of complaints made by patients through the complaint process described above.

Your Questions About Medical Records
Here are the questions that most people ask about their medical records:
-- May I see my chart at my doctor's office?
-- Do I have a right to and how do I obtain a copy of my records from my doctor?
-- My doctor says he can only give a copy of my records to another doctor, not directly to me. Is this true?
-- What do I do if I find an error in my medical records?
-- What do I do if I disagree with something my doctor said about me in my records?

Getting some answers

There are answers to these questions. It may seem strange, but the answers lie in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). HIPAA applies not only to health insurance, but privacy and medical records issues as well. So, let's answer those questions...
HIPAA gives you the right to see your medical records in your doctors' offices.

HIPAA not only allows your doctor to give a copy of your medical records directly to you, it requires it.

In most cases, the copy must be provided to you within 30 days. That time frame can be extended another 30 days, but it's required that you be given a reason for the delay.

You may not be able to get all of your information in a few special cases. For example, if your doctor decides something in your file might endanger you or someone else, the doctor may not have to give this information to you.

You may be charged for making and mailing copies.

"The Privacy Rule permits the covered entity to impose reasonable, cost-based fees. The fee may include only the cost of copying (including supplies and labor) and postage, if the patient requests that the copy be mailed. If the patient has agreed to receive a summary or explanation of his or her protected health information, the covered entity may also charge a fee for preparation of the summary or explanation. The fee may not include costs associated with searching for and retrieving the requested information. See 45 CFR 164.524."

If you find an error in your medical records, you can request that it be corrected or add information to your file if it is incomplete. For example, if you and your doctor agree that there's an error such as what medication was prescribed, he must change it. Even if your doctor doesn't agree that there's an error, you have the right to have your disagreement noted in your records. In most cases the file should be changed within 60 days, but it can take an additional 30 days if you're given a reason.
The Bottom Line about Medical Records
HIPAA, the same act that regulates how our health information is handled to protect our privacy, also gives us the right to see and obtain a copy of our records and to dispute anything we feel is erroneous or has been omitted. If you have difficulty with either of these issues, simply asking the office staff personnel involved to review HIPAA regulations will usually be enough to resolve the situation.
This is, however, one of those areas where it's sometimes best to "choose your battles" wisely. There may be times when demanding a copy of your records or insisting that you disagree with something in your records isn't worth the time or stress involved. Doctors will usually send a copy of your records to a new doctor at no charge, as a professional courtesy. This could be easier and far less stressful. If an error or omission in your records is minor, it might be not be worth pursuing and risking a problem in the relationship with your doctor and his or her staff. These are considerations, but only you can make the final decision.
HIPAA also regulates what medical information may be released to whom and for what purposes. For more information about HIPAA, visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights - HIPAA Web site.
 

How to Avoid Medical Mistakes and Stay Safe

The best way you can help to prevent errors is to be an active member of your health care team. That means taking part in every decision about your health care. Research shows that patients who are more involved with their care tend to get better results.

Medicines

1. Make sure that all of your doctors know about every medicine you are taking. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements, such as vitamins and herbs.
2. Bring all of your medicines and supplements to your doctor visits. "Brown bagging" your medicines can help you and your doctor talk about them and find out if there are any problems. It can also help your doctor keep your records up to date and help you get better quality care.
3. Make sure your doctor knows about any allergies and adverse reactions you have had to medicines. This can help you to avoid getting a medicine that could harm you.
4. When your doctor writes a prescription for you, make sure you can read it.If you cannot read your doctor's handwriting, your pharmacist might not be able to either.
5. Ask for information about your medicines in terms you can understand—both when your medicines are prescribed and when you get them:
  • What is the medicine for?
  • How am I supposed to take it and for how long?
  • What side effects are likely? What do I do if they occur?
  • Is this medicine safe to take with other medicines or dietary supplements I am taking?
  • What food, drink, or activities should I avoid while taking this medicine?
6. When you pick up your medicine from the pharmacy, ask: Is this the medicine that my doctor prescribed?
7. If you have any questions about the directions on your medicine labels, ask.Medicine labels can be hard to understand. For example, ask if "four times daily" means taking a dose every 6 hours around the clock or just during regular waking hours.
8. Ask your pharmacist for the best device to measure your liquid medicine.For example, many people use household teaspoons, which often do not hold a true teaspoon of liquid. Special devices, like marked syringes, help people measure the right dose.
9. Ask for written information about the side effects your medicine could cause. If you know what might happen, you will be better prepared if it does or if something unexpected happens.

Hospital Stays

10. If you are in a hospital, consider asking all health care workers who will touch you whether they have washed their hands. Hand-washing can prevent the spread of infections in hospitals.
11. When you are being discharged from the hospital, ask your doctor to explain the treatment plan you will follow at home. This includes learning about your new medicines, making sure you know when to schedule follow-up appointments, and finding out when you can get back to your regular activities.
It is important to know whether or not you should keep taking the medicines you were taking before your hospital stay. Getting clear instructions may help prevent an unexpected return trip to the hospital.

Surgery

12. If you are having surgery, make sure that you, your doctor, and your surgeon all agree on exactly what will be done.
Having surgery at the wrong site (for example, operating on the left knee instead of the right) is rare. But even once is too often. The good news is that wrong-site surgery is 100 percent preventable. Surgeons are expected to sign their initials directly on the site to be operated on before the surgery.
13. If you have a choice, choose a hospital where many patients have had the procedure or surgery you need. Research shows that patients tend to have better results when they are treated in hospitals that have a great deal of experience with their condition.

Other Steps

14. Speak up if you have questions or concerns. You have a right to question anyone who is involved with your care.
15. Make sure that someone, such as your primary care doctor, coordinates your care. This is especially important if you have many health problems or are in the hospital.
16. Make sure that all your doctors have your important health information. Do not assume that everyone has all the information they need.
17. Ask a family member or friend to go to appointments with you. Even if you do not need help now, you might need it later.
18. Know that "more" is not always better. It is a good idea to find out why a test or treatment is needed and how it can help you. You could be better off without it.
19. If you have a test, do not assume that no news is good news. Ask how and when you will get the results.
20. Learn about your condition and treatments by asking your doctor and nurse and by using other reliable sources. For example, treatment options based on the latest scientific evidence are available from the Effective Health Care Web site (http://www.effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/options). Ask your doctor if your treatment is based on the latest evidence.

What Doctors, Hospitals, Healthcare Need to Do

Author's Perspective: Since doctors will always have the Time issue,  I believe optimization of engineering technology tools could fix a lot of the problems with medical errors and the loss of lives. (I realize that I'm partial to this because of my engineering background in software and electronics, but, we need to move into the 21st Century, where these types of tools are very powerful and productive).

From the medical doctor's perspective, the following will help to reduce diagnostic errors tremendously: manual checklist, electronic checklist; diagnostic checklist; and cognitive forcing checklists for specific disease pathologies.

Barcode patient ID, patient tracking systems, the patient's medical history, and specific medical diagnoses need to be connected to knowledge-based medical databases that can identify the specific diagnosis, which the doctor can compare to his own.

Also, we need a computer-based closed-loop system (we use them in engineering to find technical errors in our software) that enables doctors to be notified of their errors. Then, the accuracy of diagnosis can be improved by informing doctors of the extent of their own (not others) errors and urging them to personally take steps to reduce their own errors. This is key because most doctors don't know they're making errors so they keep making them!

Barcode patient ID and patient tracking systems help prevent dangerous medical errors by making accurate and reliable patient information immediately available for point-of-care medication administration, drug prescriptions, conflicting drugs, side-effects, specimen collection, surgical procedures and any other patient care activity throughout the hospital stay.

To support the above, Johns Hopkins back in 2009 suggested that "diagnostic errors can be reduced by systematically adopting tools such as checklists that help physicians remember critical diagnoses or by making available computer programs known as “diagnostic decision-support systems” that assist physicians in calculating the level of risk of a given patient’s having certain diseases. Health systems could further decrease diagnostic errors, with time-tested, low-tech tools such as independent second looks at X-rays and CT scans or rapidly directing patients with unusual symptoms to diagnostic experts."

Of course, there are many other things that could be done to reduce these errors, but these technologies would have the biggest impact if fully implemented in all hospitals, doctor offices, nursing facilities, and healthcare systems; plus, it should be added to all medical university curriculum.

From the patient/client perspective, we should encourage them to keep their own electronic or manual journal (with laptop/recorder/camera), and always ask questions; and, have a partner or loved one engaged with everything that's going on.

Note: Unfortunately, most people don't want to do this because it's overwhelming and intimidating, and frowned on by most doctors. Then, when we point out to our clients how thousands of people die because of medical errors, some reconsider. (It almost happened to me while in the hospital).

The Truth About Your Doctor  
Your medical doctor is not trained to help you with nutrient-deficient and lifestyle-driven illnesses such as Type 2 diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, chronic fatigue, and some forms of heart disease.  

Doctors spend several years in medical school and internship, but most of their course work is centered on pharmacology. In addition, most medical universities are funded by the pharmaceutical companies who influence the course curriculum!

Medical doctors can only offer you two solutions to deal with your diabetes: drugs and surgery. 

Your doctor may refer you to a dietitian but the dietitian will support the doctor's drug recommendations. In addition, the dietitian knows very little about the science of diabetes pathology, and they tend to put you on a calorie-restrictive low-fat diet, which doesn't really address the diabetes. Dietitians tend to focus on weight loss, which may work temporarily but you're still diabetic and you're still taking the dangerous diabetic drugs.

But, that doesn't mean your doctor can't help you! Your doctor can help you by providing a proper medical diagnosis, your medical blood tests and other key data that you will need to work with an alternative healthcare practitioner. Always obtain a copy of your blood test results and physical exam results from your doctor or his/her assistant.

So, what do you do next now that you know that your doctor can't really help you with your diabetes?

You should still schedule appointments with your doctor, other doctors and other members of your diabetes healthcare team on a regular basis.

Educate yourself about diabetes and drugs, and stop being a victim, and become a victor of wellness. Take back the power and take back your life.

Join a comprehensive diabetes wellness program such as the Death to Diabetes program. Such a program will educate you about diabetes and nutrition, and will improve your diabetes and overall health.

Find an alternative healthcare practitioner that has the proper background in science and nutrition. Use both your medical doctor and your alternative healthcare practitioner to optimize your health. If you can't find an alternative healthcare practitioner in your area, contact our office to set up an appointment with one of our altrnative healthcare practitioners or diabetes educators.

Key Point: Don't assume that just because a healthcare professional is involved in alternative medicine that they can help you with your diabetes! Most of the following alternative healthcare professionals are ill-equipped to help you with your diabetes: dietitians, nutritionists, diabetes educators, chiropractors, herbalists, wellness consultants, holistic practitioners,  acupuncturists, naturopathic doctors, etc. Ensure that the person has the science background in diabetes pathology and nutrition by interviewing the person before you give him/her any of your money! Be wary if they offer a guarantee but require full payment!

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