There are many medical tests and checks that should be done routinely for people who have diabetes. Keeping up with these will help you keep your diabetes in control and prevent complications. Think of these checks as your diabetes report card.
At Every Visit with Your Health Care Provider
Get your weight. This is important to keep track of--remember, if your weight has gone up, so has your glucose.
Check your blood pressure. High blood pressure can cause a stroke, heart disease, or kidney failure. For people with diabetes, the target for blood pressure is less than 130/80 mmHg.
Review your glucose record. It is important for you to keep a glucose log and to always bring a copy of your log along on your visits, so that you can go over this with your provider. This is a great way to determine if changes need to be made to your medications, meal plan, or physical activity.
Review your meal plan. What you eat will affect the control you’ll have of your diabetes. Talk with your provider about how you are doing with your meal plan.
Review your physical activity. Exercise is part of the management for diabetes and it is important to talk about this at every visit.
Inspect your feet. Take your shoes and socks off at every appointment with your provider for a quick foot inspection.
Every 2 to 6 Months
A1C test. This test result is an average of your blood glucose over the past 2 to 3 months. The target A1C value for most people is less than 7 percent, but talk with your healthcare provider about this.
Lipid panel. This blood test will show your levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol, HDL (good) cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides. If the LDL cholesterol is high, that increases your risk for heart attack and stroke. The target for LDL is less than 100 milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dl)—or, if you have heart disease, less than 70 mg/dl.
Urine albumin test. This is a test to monitor for kidney disease. The target is less than 30 milligrams per gram (mg/g).
Serum creatinine test. This is another test to monitor for kidney disease. This test is then used to calculate estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). Your eGFR measures how much blood the kidneys are filtering. Your eGFR should be more than 60 ml/min.
Comprehensive foot exam. This is an important exam, which is often done by a podiatrist, to screen for signs of nerve damage, or neuropathy.
Dilated eye exam. This type of eye exam is done in an eye doctor’s office; it can detect retinopathy and monitor for other eye problems, such as glaucoma and cataracts.
Flu shot. This is done 1 time per year to protect against getting the flu.