Individuals with diabetes should have a team of healthcare specialists headed by a primary doctor, according to the American Diabetes Association. Apart from the primary doctor, the healthcare team ideally should have an eye doctor, a podiatrist, a dentist, a dietitian, a diabetes nurse practitioner, a certified diabetes educator (CDE), a personal trainer and a mental health professional.
The American Diabetes Association, or ADA, was founded in 1940, and its primary objective is to help people with diabetes. The association does this primarily by funding research that seeks to find a cure, prevent diabetes and develop better management techniques for the disease. The ADA also provides the latest information to both diabetes patients and physicians, renders service to the community and serves as advocates for individuals who are marginalized because of having the disease.
For a diabetic patient's primary doctor, the ADA recommends doctors with specialized training such as an endocrinology. Doctors with this specialization treat diseases involving the endocrine system, which the pancreas is part of. The pancreas produces the body's supply of the hormone insulin.
Diabetes patients often suffer vision problems because the disease affects the blood vessels in the eyes. Eye doctors such as ophthalmologists can provide help in managing the diabetes. Podiatrists are trained to treat problems with the feet, which diabetes patients are known to be prone to.
Gum diseases are also a common occurrence in diabetes patients, and dentists can help with these. Other healthcare specialists such as dietitians, nurses, CDEs, personal trainers and counselors can all contribute to make the disease more manageable.