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Dr. Pam R. Taub Part 4, Working with Diabetes Patients

Dr. Pam R. Taub talks with Diabetes in Control Publisher Steve Freed at the 2016 AACE Meeting. In part 4 of this Exclusive Interview, Dr. Taub explains when and how she continues to work with diabetes patients versus referring them to a specialist.

Dr. Pam R. Taub, MD, FACC is a board-certified cardiologist who focuses on general and preventive cardiology. As a general cardiologist, she works with patients to diagnose and prevent heart disease, as well as manage conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, coronary artery disease, or heart failure. Her own research—focused on how epicatechin (a compound found in dark chocolate) can improve mitochondrial structure and exercise capacity in patients with heart failure and diabetes—has received funding from the National Institutes of Health and the American College of Cardiology, and has resulted in multiple publications in top journals. She is also developing and testing new biomarkers (blood tests) to predict cardiovascular risk, as well as studying the mechanisms of statin-related muscle complaints and decreases in exercise capacity and using epicatechin to treat them.

Transcript of this video segment:

Steve: Do you ever have the opportunity to, for especially type 2s, to actually recommend, to actually change drugs for blood glucose? Or do you always go through their endo or internist?

Dr. Taub: Well, I would say that for the majority of the type 2 diabetics, if they’re on insulin then at that point I would definitely insist that they go to an endocrinologist. Many patients don’t have the time to be going to multiple doctors. A lot of patients that I’ve followed over a long period time, that I’ve actually made the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, I typically start them on Metformin. If their blood sugars are well-controlled they’ll just continue with me. If it gets higher and I need some assistance from my endocrinology colleagues in managing it, then I’ll refer. Also anybody that needs insulin, I refer.

Steve: What about obesity? Most of your patients come in, they have high cholesterol, they have diabetes, and they’re going to be overweight at least. What do you do for those patients?

Dr. Taub: Start with the basics and work on lifestyle modification. After that, where I work at the University of California, San Diego, we actually have a weight management center that’s staffed by a board certified physician in bariatric medicine, who does a lot of consults for our patients who are overweight. There are 4 new drugs that are FDA approved for weight management. I’ll usually defer to him to start those. When I see a patient needs extra help, I refer to our weight management center. They have a lot of resources, including dietitians to work with the patients.

To view other segments in this video series:

Part 1: A Cardiologist’s Perspective on Diabetes
Part 2: New Cholesterol Drugs PCSK9 Inhibitors
Part 3: PCSK9 Side Effects
Part 4: Working with Diabetes Patients
Part 5: Advice on Treatment Methods
Part 6: Starting on PCSK9s
Part 7: Recommending New Drugs
Part 8: Results of Using New Drugs