Decoding Type 2 Diabetes Lingo: 6 Important Questions

Diabetes educators often have more time than doctors to answer questions.
If you've been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, it's not unusual to be confused by the avalanche of new information, or to feel like your physician isn't telling you everything you need to know.

"I've seen patients told they're diabetic and they're not given any materials," says Elizabeth Hardy, a Texas nurse with type 2 diabetes. When she got sick with sky-high blood sugar and pneumonia at the same time, she says, "I was very fortunate to go into a hospital that had a diabetes education program. I walked out of the hospital with some idea of what diabetes was."

It can take a while to get up to speed on a confusing array of medical terms, and bringing a friend or partner to your health-care visits can help.

"Often, the diagnosis of diabetes can be overwhelming with many new terms and new prescriptions. The patient's physician, whether it's their primary care physician or their endocrinologist, may be providing them with a lot of information," says Katie Weinger of the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston. "It's lucky if the patient can hear 50% of what's said."

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Lead writer: Eric Metcalf
Last Updated: April 24, 2008

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