Six Tests for Staying Healthy with Diabetes
Keeping blood glucose levels in target range is only a first step. Controlling blood pressure and cholesterol is also important. Learn about the six tests or exams for staying healthy
|A1C (or “hemoglobin A1c”)|
|What is it?||
A blood test
Average blood glucose over past 2-3 months
|Why ?||Best way to measure overall glucose control|
|How often ?||2-4 times a year|
|Target goal||Less than 7%|
|What is it?||Measures the pressure against the walls of your blood vessels.|
|Why ?||High blood pressure is more common in diabetes.
Having high blood pressure increase the risk of stroke, heart attack, kidney disease and eye disease.
|How often ?||At every check-up|
|Target goal :||Less than 130/80|
|Action steps :||Be more active
If you weigh too much, even losing a few pounds can help.
Use less salt and eat fewer salty foods.
|What is it ?||A blood test which measures the amount of fat which has built up on artey walls. LDL = “lousy” or “bad” cholesterol.|
|Why ?||Diabetes increases your risk of heart disease. LDL cholesterol can clog the walls of arteries.
If you catch problems early they can be treated.
|How often?||Once a year. More often if levels are high.|
|Target goal||LDL lessthan 100 (or lower if you have heart disease)|
|Action steps :||
If you smoke, try to stop.
Be more active. Eat less saturated and trans fats. Lose weight.
|What is it ?||
A urine test
Measures how well your kindneys are working
“Micro” means tiny. “albumin” is a kind of protein.
This test measures if there is any protein in your urine.
|Why ?||If you catch problems early, they can be treated.|
|How often ?||At least once a year.|
|Action steps||Keep AIC in target range of less than 7%
Keep blood pressure below 130/80.
|What is it ?||A special exam to look at the retina of the eye. The eye must be dilated to see inside the whole eye.|
|Why ?||High blood glucose and high blood pressure can damage tiny blood vessels in the eyes. Damage can be prevented if found early.|
|How often ?||Once a year.|
|Action steps :||Schedule an annual eye exam|
|What is it ?||A special exam by a podiatrist or other healthcare provider to carefully inspect your feet.
It is important to evaluate blood flow and nerve function.
|Why?||Foot problems can occur due to decreased circulation and lack of feeling in the foot from high glucose levels.|
|How often ?||Every visit to the doctor-take off your shoes and show your feet!|
|Action steps||Inspect your feet every day at home. Look for any redness, cracks, sores or open areas.
Wear well fitted shoes and socks that absorb moisture.