How Do I Choose the Best Dietitian for Diabetes?

Erin J. Hill
Erin J. Hill
A brief consultation with a dietitian provides will provide insight into their recommended treatment plan.
A brief consultation with a dietitian provides will provide insight into their recommended treatment plan.

In most cases, you can speak with your doctor to get a recommendation for a dietitian for diabetes. You might also check with a local or national dietitian's association to find someone in your area. Prepare interview questions before meeting with a potential provider, and make sure you specifically ask about his or her experience in working with diabetic patients, and about his results in working with such patients. You should also follow up on any references he or she gives you to hear from previous clients who have had good, or bad, results.

When you are diagnosed with diabetes, your doctor will probably give your a referral to a local dietitian. Ask up front whether this person is someone he or she knows, or if it is a general list of practitioners working in your area. If you can get a recommendation, do so. This will give you a better chance of finding someone knowledgeable and professional. If you can't get an official recommendation, you may have to try calling each person until you find a good fit.

Your doctor may not give you a person or list of people to contact. If this is the case, you will have to find a dietitian for diabetes by calling numbers you find in a phone directory, or by speaking with other diabetes sufferers for recommendations. Call each person and ask if they will offer a free consultation. Make a list of questions to ask each provider. Possible questions include whether or not the person has direct experience in working with diabetic patients, what his results have been for those patients, and what type of plan he or she would like to create specifically for your situation. The answers to these questions will give you a good idea whether the person would be a good fit for you.

It's also important that your dietitian for diabetes is licensed and registered with the appropriate government agencies. This signals that he or she is fully trained and educated. It also helps if the person has additional training in working with diabetes patients, although formal education doesn't always mean better.

When speaking with potential providers, you should also get a feel for each person's personality. You will likely be working with your dietitian for diabetes very closely, especially in the early days of treatment. You should get along with the person you choose, and feel at ease in his or her presence. Otherwise, you might not feel comfortable providing personal information about your dietary habits during meetings. If a certain personality type doesn't mesh well with you, don't feel guilty or feel obligated to continue seeing the person, even if he or she is a good dietitian for diabetes in all other respects.

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    • A brief consultation with a dietitian provides will provide insight into their recommended treatment plan.
      A brief consultation with a dietitian provides will provide insight into their recommended treatment plan.