Diabetes Follow Up

People with diabetes should have the following examinations regularly:

  • Blood pressure. At least 40 percent of people with diabetes have hypertension, the ADA reports. Pressure should be monitored several times a year, at every office visit.
  • A1C. Typically given every three to six months, this blood test reveals blood glucose averages over the previous two to three months. Healthy levels (usually less than 7 percent) mean you're less likely to develop complications, such as nerve and kidney disease. This test is not a substitute for daily glucose self-testing, but it allows the team to evaluate a person's overall self-care.
  • Cholesterol and triglycerides. A simple blood test can detect risk factors for heart disease, the number one killer of those with diabetes. Have blood lipids checked annually.
  • Microalbumin. This test checks the urine for albumin, a protein whose presence indicates kidney malfunction. Early detection allows for treatment that can prevent kidney disease from progressing. This test should be scheduled annually.
  • Feet. At each checkup, feet should be examined for cuts or breaks and infection. If any is found, nerve damage should be assessed.
  • Eyes. Schedule a dilated eye exam annually with an ophthalmologist to detect and treat retinopathy early.
  • Dental. Having teeth cleaned at least twice a year can prevent gum disease and promote good glucose control.
  • Heart-health tests. Since heart disease is so common, a cardiologist may need to do an echocardiogram or a stress test periodically.

Publication Review By: Written by: Meryl Davids Landau

Published: 23 Apr 2009

Last Modified: 07 Sep 2011