If you are pre-diabetic or diabetic, you are probably checking your blood glucose levels and watching your diet. Some have added an exercise routine and these actions are all part of the overall program to keep your blood sugar in check. It is also recommended to take additional routine tests since diabetics have a higher incidence of secondary health issues that should be addressed early:
- blood pressure
- foot exam
- Hemoglobin A1c blood test
- urine microalbumin test
- cholesterol tests
- eye dilation exam
If you have diabetes, the risk of developing high blood pressure doubles. The latest recommendations are systolic and diastolic values under 120/80. Interestingly, a nurse said there is no such thing as “White Coat” symptoms : when a patient has unusually high blood pressure while getting measured by a health professional. She indicated that if a person has high blood pressure they have high blood pressure no matter who is taking their vital signs. If you are unsure, invest in a home blood pressure monitor and track your blood pressure. Take these readings to your physician to determine if additional diet, exercise or medication needs to be adjusted.
Check Your Feet
A diabetic’s foot is very sensitive. Do a self check to ensure there are no pressure sores, cuts or ingrown toenails that can ultimately lead to infections and gangrene. Infections can lead to amputation. Doctors recommend you do a self exam daily.
This test measures how well you are managing your blood sugar levels over the last two or three months. Order a Hemoglobin A1c test every 3 months to see if your protocol for blood sugar management is indeed working or if it needs adjustment.
This urine test measures the amount of albumin, a certain type of protein in your urine. Abnormal ranges of albumin may indicate kidney damage. It is recommended to order a urine microalbumin test once a year.
Lipids are the fats in your blood and this test will measure cholesterol, triglycerides, high density lipoproteins and low density lipoproteins and determine if they are within the recommended ranges. It is recommended that you order a lipid panel test every 6 months.
Dilated Eye Exam
If you have diabetes, your ophthalmologist or optometrist should perform a dilated eye exam to check for signs of diabetic retinopathy. It is recommended that you conduct this test annually.
Take Control of Your Health
Medical Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. The writer is not a physician or other health provider.