More frequent doctor visits may help diabetics gain better control of their condition
Type 2 diabetes is often described as one of the most difficult chronic health conditions to control. It requires frequent testing to ensure good health and regular doses of medication. All this can put a mental strain on individuals, making it even harder to manage the condition.
However, there are ways individuals can remove some of the burden associated with caring for themselves. One method may be to seek more regular office visits with their primary care physician.
A team of researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston recently reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine
that diabetics who are able to see their physician more regularly tend to have better health and a lower risk of complications.
The team analyzed the health records of 26,496 individuals with diabetes. They found that those who visited their doctor once every two weeks were able to more quickly gain control of their blood sugar and lower their cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
One reason for these improvements may be the fact that doctors were able to monitor their patients' condition and make lifestyle recommendations that could have led to better health. However, the researchers said the benefits of regular attention from a physician may extend beyond more frequent treatments.
However, they said that visiting the doctor every two weeks may not be feasible for everyone. The healthcare system is already being swamped due to a shortage of resources and increasing utilization, and costs continue to rise at sharp rates. Diabetics who already have well controlled blood sugar may have little to gain. The team recommended more frequent visits only for those who are struggling to manage their condition.