These are the tests you may need and how often you should have them.
A1c blood test.
This test shows the average level of blood sugar over the past 2 to 3 months. It helps your doctor see whether blood sugar levels have been staying within your target range.
How often: Every 3 to 6 months
Goal: A blood sugar level in your target range
Blood pressure test.
This test measures the pressure of blood flow in the arteries. Controlling blood pressure can help prevent damage to nerves and blood vessels.
How often: At least once a least once a year or more often if your blood pressure is high
Goal: A blood pressure level in your target range
This test measures the amount of a type of fat in the blood. It is common for people with diabetes to also have high cholesterol. Too much cholesterol in the blood can build up inside the blood vessels and raise the risk for heart attack and stroke.
How often: Once a year or as often as your doctor recommends
Goal: A cholesterol level in your target range
Albumin-creatinine ratio test.
This test checks for kidney damage by looking for the protein albumin (say "al-BYOO-mun") in the urine. Albumin is normally found in the blood. Kidney damage can let small amounts of it (microalbumin) leak into the urine.
How often: For people with Type 1 diabetes, screen once a year after having diabetes for 5 years. For people with Type 2 diabetes, screen at the time of diagnosis and then every year.
The blood creatinine (say "kree-AT-uh-neen") level shows how well your kidneys are working. Creatinine is a waste product that muscles release into the blood. Blood creatinine is used to estimate the glomerular filtration rate. A high level of creatinine and/or a low eGFR may mean your kidneys are not working as well as they should.
How often: For people with type 1 diabetes, screen once a year after having diabetes for 5 years. For people with type 2 diabetes, screen at the time of diagnosis and then every year.
Goal: Normal level of creatinine in the blood. The eGFR goal is greater than 60 mL/min/1.73 m².
Complete foot examination.
The doctor checks for foot sores and whether any sensation has been lost.
How often: Once a year
Goal: Healthy feet with no foot ulcers or loss of feeling
Dental examination and cleaning.
The dentist checks for gum disease and tooth decay. People with high blood sugar are more likely to have these problems.
How often: Every 6 months or as often as your dentist recommends
Goal: Healthy teeth and gums
Complete eye examination.
High blood sugar levels can damage the eyes. This examination is done by an ophthalmologist or optometrist. It includes a dilated eye examination. The examination shows whether there's damage to the back of the eye (diabetic retinopathy).
How often: Every year. Some doctors may recommend less frequent eye examinations (for example, every 2 years) if you have no signs of diabetic retinopathy.
Goal: No damage to the back of the eye
Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) blood test.
This test checks for thyroid disease. Too little thyroid hormone can cause some medicines (like insulin) to stay in the body longer. This can cause low blood sugar.
How often: As often as your doctor recommends. You may be tested if you are a woman with type 1 diabetes who had a baby 6 to 8 weeks earlier.
Author: Healthwise Staff Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine Matthew I. Kim MD - Endocrinology David C.W. Lau MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Matthew I. Kim MD - Endocrinology & David C.W. Lau MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology
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