Does your doctor help you with healthy eating info/ideas?

John Crowley
By John CrowleyCA Latest Reply 2015-01-22 10:07:08 -0600
Started 2015-01-14 13:10:40 -0600

In checking out a really well done video about healthy eating for people with diabetes, I was a little bit taken back by the dietitian mentioning that you should be working with your doctor and your care team to understand what your healthy eating plan should be.

In our experience with our son's doctor(s) and his diabetes, I don't think we ever had a single conversation with the doctor about healthy eating. Now to be fair, our clinic did have a full time dietitian on staff who would usually check in with us to see if we had any questions about food and diet. She even helped us determine the nutrition facts (mostly the carb count) for some of our family recipes that were a little bit tricky.

But i wondered what everyone else's experience has been at your doctor appointments. Do you talk about diet with your doctor? Does your doctor provide you with information and ideas about how to eat healthy as someone with diabetes? If so, has the information been helpful to you?

Also, if your doctor doesn't discuss healthy eating with you, does anyone else at your doctor's office talk about that topic with you?

27 replies

lorider70 2015-01-22 10:07:08 -0600 Report

When I was diagnosed a type II in 1989, I was given an 1800 calorie a day diet and oral meds. Once my weight and BS came in line; I stuck to the diet fairly close and still do. I do NOTcount carbs, have never seen a dietician, or ever had the suggestion to do so. I do often wonder if possibly I should have seen other Doctors; but at my stage of life I most likely will continue as I have been doing. Current A1C is 6.1 and even though I would like to gain a little weight, get rid of some of the neuropathy, and arthritis pain; I realize this isn't going to happen and so continue to do what I can, when I want to and let the chips fall where they may.

Chopstix 2015-01-19 14:41:30 -0600 Report

The young fool that informed me that I am diabetic just gave a pamphlet of what to eat and avoid eating. If I was not an over-the-road truck driver that list would have been easy to follow. The best thing I did was leave fried foods alone but overall I didn't have to make that many dietary changes. Finding something for my coffee other than sugar was not hard and I ended up using stevia or monk fruit and now it's just milk and cinnamon. McDonald's does have salads and one night I found out you can order one without the chicken and it's a little cheaper that way. Chick-fil-A has whole wheat bread but it's 20 cents more! All in all I'd say about 99 percent of what I have learned about my diabetes care, including eating, I have had to learn on my own. That first doctor seemed more inclined to have me swallowing pills than any thing else. But that's my opinion. The provider I have now listens to me and if I have any questions I can email her and she will get back to me within a couple of days by email or phone call…

Pegsy 2015-01-17 13:52:03 -0600 Report

My doctor is familiar with my diet plan and she is helpful in regard to timing my meals for better glucose control but she doesn't directly coach me on what to eat. She did schedule me to see a dietitian in the beginning but stated up front that the dietitian would likely recommend more carbs than I preferred, which turned out to be true. My doctor knows that I am very responsible regarding my diet and she likes the results I have been getting. I have consulted with half a dozen dietitians and all but one of them have steered me in the wrong direction, requiring increases in medication. Now, my doctor says to just keep doing what I am doing because it is working well for me. I learn as I go. Some from books, websites and advice from other diabetics regarding what is working for them.

Chopstix 2015-01-19 14:49:41 -0600 Report

Did your doctor tell you about certain trace minerals that help to keep your blood sugar and pressure in check? No? Don't feel bad, neither did mine. I had to learn about on my own. Sometimes I can tell the difference when I don't get enough chromium and or magnesium in my system. My blood sugar starts to rise and I have take a look at what I have and have not been eating…

tabby9146 2015-01-16 09:33:58 -0600 Report

No. I was diagnosed in 2008 and I have never been to a dietician. I went to D classes right away and for a long time, thought that was all I needed, but I realize now, I should make an appt. to see one. My doctor never mentioned a thing about diet, just to go to the classes. I wish every doctor would take just an extra couple of minutes and mention to each and every overweight patient about type2 even if they are not very overweight, and how serious it is. I wish my doctor had gotten on to me about my weight, even though I was 35 lbs. overweight, still I know that would have made me pay more attention.

haoleboy 2015-01-15 10:47:12 -0600 Report

I met with a dietitian once while I was in recovery from my stroke … just parroted the ADA guidelines. That 15 minute meeting is the sum total of the nutrition discussions I've had with a "medical professional" in the 7 1/2 years since diagnosis.


Jeanette Terry
Jeanette TerryPA 2015-01-15 10:22:23 -0600 Report

I have had diabetes for 17 years and have never met with a dietitian. When I was a teenager and got a pump I did meet with a CDE but she only discussed how to use the pump. And again when I was pregnant my doctor set up some time for me to meet with the CDE in his office, but again it was more a conversation about adjusting the settings for the pump than a discussion about diet. She did give me a few tips but nothing really in depth. I have had to just kind of figure it all out on my own. which does leave gaps in my knowledge about some kinds of food.

Chopstix 2015-01-19 15:06:54 -0600 Report

How does that saying go? Let food be your medicine, let medicine be your food. Or something like that. I think most doctors today are just taught how to prescribe pills and how to cut on people. A lot of doctors should take a trip to Asia and pay attention to their approach to medicine…

Jibber Jabber
Jibber Jabber 2015-01-15 09:26:46 -0600 Report

I think I intimidate my doctor a bit…I was 240 pounds the first time I saw him and he didn't even mention my weight…I guess that is because I was shooting so many REAL questions at him…he was not use to being questioned like that..I guess he figured if he spoke to me about my weight and a proper diet I would just get angry..lmao..and well I would of…BUT that being said…all doctors should give basic info, even if they "believe" their patients already have the knowledge…such as staying away from refined foods…eating plenty of low carb colorful veggies..introducing more fiber…and then they should refer EVERY patient to a nutritionist…that is just how I feel…If the person feels like they don't need to see would be on them at that point…but doctors that do not deal with the dietary part of diabetes treatment and JUST cut scripts…grind my GEARS!!!!!

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2015-01-15 09:17:54 -0600 Report

My doctor monitors my carb intake. The advantage I have is that my dietitian is my neighbor and friend. She monitors my meal plan and we make needed changes. I don't waste time talking to my doctor about healthy eating. Since he isn't a trained nutritionist he isn't the best source for that kind of information.

When my weight loss changes my friend and I will help me keep my body weight at that level until my body adjust. Then we change my meal plan . It works for me and the doctor likes it. We talked about surgery but he things they are too dangerous and unless the person is morbidly obese he prefers weight loss with diet and exercise. I agree with him. My plan works great for me.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2015-01-15 09:17:21 -0600 Report

My doctor monitors my carb intake. The advantage I have is that my dietitian is my neighbor and friend. She monitors my meal plan and we make needed changes. I don't waste time talking to my doctor about healthy eating. Since he isn't a trained nutritionist he isn't the best source for that kind of information.

When my weight loss changes my friend and I will help me keep my body weight at that level until my body adjust. Then we change my meal plan . It works for me and the doctor likes it. We talked about surgery but he things they are too dangerous and unless the person is morbidly obese he prefers weight loss with diet and exercise. I agree with him. My plan works great for me.

lilleyheidi 2015-01-15 00:13:33 -0600 Report

My PCP told me I needed to lose weight, suggested bipass surgery, and referred me to a dietician. Later she referred me to an Endo. The Endo referred me to a different dietician. I've kinda taken what this dietician said, what I've learned from reading various diet programs online, and what I've learned here, and created my own eating plan. I talked to my Endo last time I saw her and asked her opinion on low carb eating and she asked me how many carbs a day I was eating, I told her between 50-75 grams per day and she asked for a specific day example of what I eat, and was satisfied that I am getting a good balanced diet. She did ask me to bring in a week food log to both her and to the dietician to review, which I will do to my next appt. I think my Endo is versed in nutrician more than my PCP, but not as much as I'd hoped she be. Heidi

Chopstix 2015-01-19 15:15:09 -0600 Report

Have you heard of Toxic Relief and What You Don't Know May Be Killing You by Don Colbert, MD? Or Diabetes Without Drugs by Suzi Cohen, Rph? Eat Right For You Blood Type by Peter D'Adamo, MD, is a good read also. You can find them online or at a used book store. They have helped me greatly…

Chuck Fisher
Chuck Fisher 2015-01-14 23:50:11 -0600 Report

When I was diagnosed with type II nearly 4 years ago, I immediately started searching on the internet. I already had a kitchen nutrition scale so all I needed to do was make sure that I ate foods with low GI. Three months later and 13 ㎏ lighter, my doctor said to not lose any more weight and recommended following the Mediterranean diet. That's easy, I live on the Mediterranean. That translates to having fish/seafood three times a week and red meat once a week. Fresh fruit and vegetables are plentiful and cheap here so I eat more of them. Likewise, an abundance of legumes (garbanzos, lentils, other beans, and peanuts). One of my snacks is 30 g of mixed nuts and legumes, the other is a piece of fresh fruit.

My A1C is consistently around 5.5. When I was diagnosed, I was put on two 850 ㎎ tablets of metformin and one 30 ㎎ of gliclazide. Since then, I was first taken off of the gliclazide and last year my metformin reduced in half. My BG rose for a while and settled back down to an average of 95.

My doctor prefers the use of medications to the minimum necessary. She also has recommended dietary changes to reduce cholesterol rather than prescribe statins.

rolly123 2015-01-14 21:10:57 -0600 Report

My Docter tells me nothing on healthy eating! She suggest Ditician to help so did got how much carb but no meal plan as what eat ! I'm on app for Elkins that their ditician and take picture of u food and blood reading and next day hear from her helps u with meal suggest certain food helps but can't get sugar down

nzingha 2015-01-14 20:44:58 -0600 Report

No doctor has given me any advice as to what to eat. But coming to think of it.. each person's body reacts differently to the food we eat. we know DIABETES does not like a diet high in if we stick to proteins and vegs..that should help. i find that my body raves carbs and sweets..OMG. But i try to do fruits and not too much at any one time…

Kerry 2015-01-14 14:34:41 -0600 Report

When diagnosed as diabetic, I was very disappointed to discover I knew far more about nutrition than my doctor and subsequently a community diabetic clinic's Director/M.D. I had been in the cattle business, where nutrition (more similarities than differences) was essential.

Several years later, I was able to find a physicians assistant extremely knowledgeable in diabetes and works with a team of doctors.

The past three years my A1C has been in the 5.3 to 5.7 range and blood sugar only once over 138 and never below 72, with a running 14-day average of 105 - 109 the past 3 years.

I attribute my success to: 1) sustain a healthy diet at all times, absolutely minimal processed foods and as few foods with preservatives as possible; and 2) maintain an approximate mid-range of body-mass index.

Emphasizing that all of us have differences and what works on one, does not on another and definitely not on all, I note an interesting experience: A nephew told me in his 11th grade FFA class, the teacher had each student put a small piece of gymnema subvestre leaf on their tongue for about 30 seconds, then waited about 5 minutes before a dab of white sugar on their tongue - all agreed the sugar did not taste sweet nor pleasant.

I started taking a 400 mg dose of gymnema sylvestre (from GNC and/or Natural Grocery in our town) I found my blood sugar range stabilized significantly and I have not had radical swings. Again, what worked on me may well not work for you, so please, without exception, talk to your doctor and/or health specialist before you try what I have done.

GabbyPA 2015-01-14 14:27:40 -0600 Report

After I had seen a dietitian, I talked to my doctor about what I was told, but that was as far as it went. The only things he gave me on diet was an antiquated hand out from the ADA that recommended the white food, 150 grams of carbs a day, etc. In other words, not really that great, but it was better than nothing.

He is always telling me I have to loose weight, but there is no counseling about it. I even asked him one time when all the new codes started and it said he had advised me on a weight loss plan. We never had that discussion, but he said because he told me I need to loose weight that it qualified. He never talked to me about eating healthy for diabetes.

granniesophie 2015-01-14 14:13:11 -0600 Report

I see the primary care doctor once every 6 months. I saw the nutrionist in 2006. I also have Celiac Disease, diagnosed 2 1/2 years ago.. My current doctor told me she knows nothing at all about Celiac. My best friend is Google!

ladybugsluck9 2015-01-14 13:49:37 -0600 Report

my family doctor simply tells me to make sure I'm eating proteins at every meal & cut out the sweets! I'm like really??
Gee thanks for your amazing diet help :/

Type1Lou 2015-01-14 13:39:13 -0600 Report

I had already been following a low-carb diet when I started seeing my current endo in 2010, so we haven't been discussing healthy eating practices. My previous endo did have me talk with a dietician as part of my re-education about counting carbs and bolus insulin.

sweetslover 2015-01-14 13:32:31 -0600 Report

When I was diagnosed, my doctor told me a bunch of foods to stay away from. I don't really discuss what I can eat with anyone, because I am such a picky eater, and the things they tell me to eat, I do not like. If I don't like it, it's not going in my mouth. I have done a lot of research on limiting my carbs, which is really hard for me, but I am getting there. I do not eat most vegetables, so many diabetic friendly recipes are out. I just try to eat protein along with the few other things I do like. Gets boring, but my BG shows good results, so I guess I will stick with my way of doing things.

Chopstix 2015-01-19 15:23:02 -0600 Report

We each have to find out what works best for us. The doctor is not always right. Sometimes they are just plain ignorant. Just about every thing I have learned about being diabetic is from research and trial and error…

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