Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
Tags: What Type of Doctor Should I See for Diabetes Care

What Type of Doctor Should I See for Diabetes Care?

Tuesday, 08 Jun 2010 03:43 PM

Question: I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 5 years ago, and a few weeks ago started taking high doses of B vitamins once a day. Since then, my feet, legs, and hands have begun to feel tingly, numb, and painful. Could it be the B’s? I also take A, C w/rose hips, cod liver oil, E, and zinc and plan to begin taking D. Also, what type of doctor should I be seeing for diabetes care? My numbers have been good so far or so I'm told.

Dr. Hibberd's Answer:
You probably need to start by eliminating ALL of your supplements. Have your diabetic management reviewed by your doctor who will order a urine microalbumin and a blood test called Hemoglobin A1C that provides an indication of your glucose control of the past 3-6 weeks. Any good family physician or general internal medicine doctor should be able to meet your needs without referring you to an endocrinologist (the holy grail of diabetes specialists).
I continue to see patients self-supplementing without a clue as to what they are aiming to supplement. If you supplement in an imbalanced fashion, you WILL induce a (relative) deficiency and potentially create new problems related to this unrecognized deficiency that will not be detected in testing.
So, rule one: Look after your basic medical condition.
Rule two: Eat a well-rounded diet with fruits and vegetables, limit your alcohol intake to no more than 2 drinks daily, and DON’T SMOKE.
Rule three: Avoid random supplementation unless you have specific deficiencies.
Rule four: Use multivitamin tablets, and avoid mega doses of one vitamin or another unless under physician review guidance (Don’t just tell the doctor you take vitamins!).
Rule five: Add additional supplements recommended by your doctor such as omega-3 for those who consume little fish, calcium for all women unless you have a calcium-rich diet, and vitamin D if you do not receive 10-15 min of sunlight daily.
Rule six: Have fun and be kind to others. Cherish family while we can. Life is too short.
The tingling of hands is usually related to diabetic neuropathy. Sometimes other conditions, such as hypothyroidism, are seen in increased frequency in diabetics. The symptoms are reversible once the underlying condition is effectively treated. I advise you to seek advice for this as soon as possible, as we may be able to delay progression of the neuropathy.

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What Type of Doctor Should I See for Diabetes Care
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2010-43-08
Tuesday, 08 Jun 2010 03:43 PM
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