Creating the best plan for your diabetes care means you will probably undergo several medical tests. Some will be repeated over time to ensure you're on the right track and to catch any possible diabetes complications early. If you wonder which tests to expect, read on to find out about some common - and important - diabetes tests:
You've probably already heard your doctor talk about your A1C levels, and for good reason. This test measures how well your blood sugar has been managed over a certain period of time. Doctors usually perform this test every three to six months, and will be able to act on the results to improve your blood sugar control and overall diabetes management. A1C levels that show you are keeping your blood glucose levels under tight control represent very good news indeed, so make it a goal to get that number in the right place.
Blood lipids and kidney function tests
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases recommends you receive a blood lipids test at least annually. This will measure your LDL and HDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels - and you may also hear it referred to as getting your cholesterol checked. In addition to this, your doctor may order urine and blood tests that will evaluate the function of your kidneys - a concern for people living with diabetes that is best to address as soon as it arises.
Dilated eye exam
Diabetes may threaten your eyesight. For this reason, you'll want to see an ophthalmologist or optometrist on a regular basis. This professional will perform a dilated eye exam to check for signs of problems in the eye like diabetic retinopathy. If this issue is identified early, it can be treated.
The decreased circulation and nerve damage diabetes can cause means you are at risk for foot problems. This can include foot injuries you don't notice that are at high risk for infection. It also includes foot ulcers. For these reasons, your doctor will likely ask you to take off your shoes and socks during office visits - and if you have a history of foot issues, you'll probably need to be barefoot at every visit. This is to treat any problems while they are minor and prevent serious diabetes complications in the feet from developing.