Diabetes Care Center
Tests and exams
If you have diabetes, there are some tests you will need. Some of the most common diabetes tests are listed below. These tests are important first steps to help you and your doctor manage your diabetes. Managing your diabetes will help you live a healthy and active life.
Talk with your doctor about your diabetes and what specific tests are right for you.
Blood sugar (HbA1c)
An A1C is a blood test that measures your average blood sugar level over a period of time. Checking your blood sugar daily is important, but it can only tell you what your blood sugar is at that moment. An A1C test will help tell you if your diabetes is under control and help you and your doctor treat your diabetes. Most people with diabetes need to have this test at least 2 times a year.
Blood pressure is the force that moving blood puts on your artery walls (the tubes that carry blood throughout your body). People with diabetes are more likely to have high blood pressure. High blood pressure can cause heart disease and stroke. It’s best to keep your blood pressure below 140/90. This lowers your risk of further problems.
Diabetes can affect the kidneys, even if you feel okay. A urine test looks for proteins in your urine. These proteins are a sign of kidney disease. Kidney disease can cause your kidneys to not work the way they should. In severe cases, it can lead to kidney failure.
Early kidney disease doesn’t always show any signs or symptoms. Having your urine tested can help find kidney disease early. Most people with diabetes should have their urine tested at least 1 time every year. If the urine test does show kidney disease, your doctor can work with you to treat it.
Changes in blood sugar levels can affect your eyes. People with diabetes are at higher risk of developing eye disease. Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness among adults between the ages of 20 and 74. But, your doctor can catch eye disease early with regular eye exams.
A retinal eye exam checks for diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is an eye disease that affects people with diabetes. It is caused when blood sugar is too high for long periods of time. Most people with diabetes should have their eyes tested 1 time every 2 years.
Regular check-ups are important for everyone, but they’re especially important for people with diabetes. This helps you to develop a relationship with your doctor and get the care you need. Don’t miss appointments, and make sure you follow-through on all tests and exams. Ask questions and get the answers you need.
Also, be sure to follow these everyday healthy habits so you can say “I am healthy.”
Reference: American Diabetes Association