Amy Tenderich was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in May of 2003. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of Diabetes Mine and co-authored the book Know Your Numbers, Outlive Your Diabetes. You will frequently find her speaking at diabetes, health, and social media events across the country.

As we’ve noted, most diabetes complications are “sneaky” because you don’t feel them coming on. The only way to know about and thwart these damages is to get screened regularly.

Regular screenings will allow you to:

  1. Understand your own personal risk(s) of diabetes complications, and
  2. Know how to focus your efforts in order to minimize that risk!

Screenings are pretty straightforward. It consists of five key medical tests that everyone with diabetes should have and monitor on a regular basis. They are the BEST and ONLY scientific measures currently available to help you view the “big picture” of your health with diabetes. Those tests are:

Hemoglobin A1c

A measure of the average amount of glucose in your blood over the last several months. This is a laboratory blood test that should be taken every three months.

Blood pressure

A quick, painless armband test to determine the force of blood flow through your body. This should be done at least every six months.

Lipid profile

A group of blood tests including cholesterol and triglycerides (another type of fat) used to determine your risk of heart attack or stroke. This should be done annually.


A urine test that is an early indicator of kidney damage. This should be taken annually.

Eye exam

An exam that consists of dilating your pupils, allowing the doctor to see the back of your eye. This should be conducted yearly by an experienced eye doctor (an ophthalmologist, not an optometrist).

Bonus tip: I recently co-authored a guidebook about how you can use these five medical tests to continually monitor and improve your health. The book is called Know Your Numbers, Outlive Your Diabetes.


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