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    Diabetes Exams and Tests You Shouldn’t Skip

     

    A key part of living with diabetes is to monitor certain aspects of your health so that you can catch and manage possible problems early. To live your healthiest life and reduce your risk of diabetes-related complications, visit your doctor regularly and make sure that you don't skip these essential exams and tests at your healthcare provider's office:

     

    Exams and Tests Recommended for People with Diabetes

     

     

    Type of Test or Exam

     

     

     

    How Often?

     

     

    Why?  

                 

    Physical exam

     

     

    every 3 to 6 months

     

    It's important that your doctor is regularly monitoring your health because diabetes can lead to complications over time.

     

    Weight check

     

     

    every office visit

     

     

    Maintaining a healthy weight can help with blood sugar control and lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. Your doctor will work with you on a healthy weight target.

     

     

    Blood pressure test

     

     

    every office visit

     

     

    Maintaining normal blood pressure is important for people with diabetes to prevent damage to the eyes, kidneys, heart, and blood vessels. Talk to your doctor about what blood pressure target is best for you.

     

    Foot exam

    comprehensive foot exam at least once a year and a check for signs of foot problems at every office visit

     

    A foot exam includes checking the pulses and feeling in your feet, as well as inspecting for calluses, infections, sores, or ulcers. It is important to have your feet checked regularly because of nerve damage, circulation problems, and infections can cause serious foot problems for people with diabetes.

     

     

    Eye exam

     

    once a year

    Diabetes-related eye problems can develop without symptoms, so regular eye exams are important for finding problems early. If you have eye problems, you may need to see your eye doctor more often.

     

    Dental exam

         

    every 6 months

     

    People with diabetes are more likely to have problems with their teeth and gums. Regular check-ups can help prevent gum disease and infections.

     

     

    HbA1c (also called A1C) test

     

     

    at least twice a year

     

     

    This test shows how well you are controlling your blood sugar over a three month period. Your doctor will help you determine what your HbA1c target should be. You may need this test more often if you are having difficulty meeting your blood sugar targets.

     

     

    Cholesterol test

     

    every year, but more often if you have high cholesterol, and less often if your levels are normal

     

    Maintaining healthy cholesterol levels reduces the risk for heart disease and stroke and can help prevent circulation problems.

     

     

    Kidney function test

     

               

    at least once a year

     

     

    Kidney disease in people with diabetes happens slowly and silently, usually without early warning symptoms. These tests can find problems early when they can be treated or managed, and progression to kidney disease can be prevented or delayed.

     

     

     

     

    These articles are not a substitute for medical advice, and are not intended to treat or cure any disease. Advances in medicine may cause this information to become outdated, invalid, or subject to debate. Professional opinions and interpretations of scientific literature may vary. Consult your healthcare professional before making changes to your diet, exercise, or medication regime.

     

    Sources

     

    Complications Due to Diabetes, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

    http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/living/problems.html

     

    Diabetes – Tests and Checkups, Medline Plus:

    http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/patientinstructions/000082.htm

     

    Monitoring in Patients with Diabetes Mellitus, UpToDate®:

    http://www.uptodate.com/contents/image?imageKey=ENDO%2F63002&topicKey=ENDO%2F1750&rank=1~150

     

    Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes – 2015, American Diabetes Association:

    http://professional.diabetes.org/admin/UserFiles/0%20-%20Sean/Documents/January%20Supplement%20Combined_Final.pdf

     

    Staying Healthy with Diabetes, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

    http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/living/health.html

     


    These articles are not a substitute for medical advice, and are not intended to treat or cure any disease. Advances in medicine may cause this information to become outdated, invalid, or subject to debate. Professional opinions and interpretations of scientific literature may vary. Consult your healthcare professional before making changes to your diet, exercise, or medication regime.