Jeanette Terry was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 11 years old, and she has since lived with diabetes through difficult life transitions, including the teenage years, college, and having children. She addresses the day-to-day struggles of living with diabetes—going beyond medical advice—to improve overall adherence and management.  

Advertising can be a powerful tool for selling all kinds of things; however, when it comes to medication, it is always smart to consult a doctor before making changes to your treatment plan. Personalized and empowered self management is important in diabetes. But with diabetes-medicine advertising on the rise, it can be hard to know which treatment is right for you. That is where your doctor comes in. He or she needs to be a part of your management plan.

Recently I read a story of a man who trusted more in the advertising he saw on TV than the instructions from his doctor. Now, I am sure this man is intelligent and has probably been living with diabetes for a little while, but when he saw his medication being advertised along with suggested dietary options, he followed what the ads suggested. (Like I said before, advertising can be very powerful and persuasive.) Because of this man’s actions, he saw a decrease in blood sugar control instead of better control. Luckily, his doctor did catch the problem and they were able to correct it.

Team Up with Your Doctor

It's great that this person decided to take control of his management plan and wasn’t afraid to make changes and adjustments. But in order to avoid dangerous mishaps, we have to be making the right adjustments. It is always wise to run any changes past your doctor to make sure you have all of the information to make an educated decision. If your doctor doesn’t agree with choices in your treatment plan but you have found it to be working, then it might be time to consult a new doctor.

Diabetes is a very personal disease, and you should be following a treatment plan that not only helps control your blood sugar, but also fits into your lifestyle. While it is up to you to find out what that plan is and what works best for you, it is also important to have a medical professional to help out along the way. It is your choice what kind of doctor to see, but please do see one so that you can make the best decisions possible for your health.

To learn more about this topic:

Dangers of Self-Diagnosis: Let Your Doctors Do Their Job
Does Your Doctor Make the Grade?
The All-Important Relationship with Your Doctor: 8 Tips to Improve Your Medical Care