If type 1 diabetes has already led to the development of other medical conditions, particular attention is paid to the treatment of those conditions as part of the DMP. Doctors with different areas of specialization work together here.
If someone has diabetic kidney disease (nephropathy), it can make sense for them to be treated by a kidney specialist, also known as a nephrologist. Changes in kidney function can be monitored by doing regular blood and urine tests. Medication can be used to try to keep the kidneys working properly for as long as possible. In more advanced kidney disease, dialysis or a kidney transplant may be needed.
People who have diabetic eye disease (retinopathy) have various treatment options, including medication and surgery. The aim of treatment is to slow down the progression of eye damage and prevent loss of vision.
Diabetic nerve damage (neuropathy) can be treated with medication.
Doctors offer advice about measures for the prevention of diabetic foot syndrome (“diabetic foot“) – ranging from regularly measuring your own blood sugar levels, to taking good care of your feet, to wearing the right kind of shoes. Already existing or advanced diabetic foot syndrome can be treated in specialized doctor’s practices or clinics. Regular foot care is offered by podiatrists (foot care specialists). The person’s shoes should also be altered by an orthopedic specialist.
To reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, both the blood sugar levels and high blood pressure need to be treated. Cholesterol-lowering medication and “blood thinners” can be taken to prevent diseases affecting the blood vessels.
As part of the DMP, the doctors should also assess whether the person may benefit from psychological help – for instance, if they have an eating disorder or depression.
If a woman is planning to become pregnant, or is already pregnant, she is offered a special consultation to discuss how to reduce the risks to her and her child.
Children and teenagers who participate in the DMP receive treatment that takes their specific needs into account. Their families are involved, too. At the same time, they are given age-appropriate tools to help them take charge of managing their disease themselves wherever possible.