6 Important Tests for Diabetics

If left unchecked, diabetes can cause havoc with your body. Diabetes can attack your circulatory system, including your heart, kidneys, eyes, and nervous system.

DIABETES is the inability of your body to change carbohydrates (sweet and starchy foods) into energy. This results in your body producing inadequate levels of insulin.

These six tests can help you and your doctor catch problems early:

A1C TEST This test can tell you and your doctor how well your diabetes is being managed over a period of time. Also called HbA1c, this test measures your blood sugar from the previous three months to see if it has stayed within your target range. Doctors usually recommend you be tested every 3 to 6 months, but check with your Primary Care Physician to see how often he/she wants you to be tested.
DILATED EYE EXAM People with diabetes should have a dilated eye exam. The test is quite simple: the doctor just widens your eyes with drops to check for diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy can lead to vision problems, including blindness.
FOOT EXAM Diabetes can cause decreased circulation, nerve damage, and numbness. It’s hard to notice if you’ve hurt your foot if you cannot feel pain. Remove your socks and shoes at each doctor’s visit to remind your doctor to check for infection and/or sores. Your doctor should do a more detailed foot exam once or twice a year. Talk to your doctor about the frequency of the detailed foot exam. You should also check your feet for any cracks, sores, blisters, etc. between doctor visits. You need to speak to your doctor right away about any problems you see.
KIDNEY FUNCTION TESTS Urine and blood tests are used to make sure your kidneys are working properly.
BLOOD PRESSURE CHECK Your blood pressure should be checked at each doctor’s visit. Feel free to remind your doctor if your blood pressure is not checked.
CHOLESTEROL SCREENING Your doctor should check your good (HDL) and not-so-good (LDL) cholesterol at least once a year.