Diabetes is a lifelong condition affecting millions of people worldwide. People with diabetes generally have excess sugar in their blood (high blood glucose levels) due to the pancreas inability to produce any or sufficient insulin.
While there is still no cure for diabetes, regular check-ups and care can help manage this condition well, enabling diabetics to live a full and healthy life. These check-ups include self-monitoring as well as tests to be conducted at the doctor’s office at various time intervals.
Foot exam: Diabetics should monitor their feet on a daily basis to check for sores, redness or any sense of numbness. The risk of foot infection increases with diabetes and daily monitoring can help instantly tackle it. Also, high blood sugar can damage blood vessels affecting circulation and inducing numbness. This can make it tougher to detect sores on the feet and also slow down their speed of healing. So, check your feet and toenail daily for any adverse changes and bring them to your doctor’s attention instantly. Also, you should go to the doctor for a detailed foot exam every 6 months or yearly to check for nerve damage or circulation problems in the feet.
Blood sugar test at home: Diabetics are generally advised to monitor their blood sugar levels on a regular basis at home with the help of a glucometer to see that the blood sugar levels are within range. This test may be carried out daily or weekly based on the doctor’s recommendation. It is equally important to record the blood sugar readings to understand and evaluate the changes needed.
3-6 months check-ups
Blood sugar test: The A‐1‐C (HbA1c) blood glucose test needs to be carried out every 3-6 months based on your doctor’s recommendation to your average blood sugar level for the past three months and is different from your regular home check-ups.
For a diabetic individual an ideal HbA1C would be between 6.5% and 7%. A high reading reveals excess blood sugar which can increase the risk of kidney, ear, and nerve damage. A regular monitoring of A1c level can help the doctor manage the condition and make changes in your treatment plan.
Blood pressure and weight: High blood pressure and excess weight can both add to complications with diabetes, such as heart problems and other diseases. A healthy blood pressure is 120/ 80 and higher blood pressure increases the risk of damage to your eyes, heart, brain, kidney and blood vessels.
For people with weight problems, working with a nutritionist and making changes in the dietary plans may be of help. In some cases, doctors may also ask patients to monitor these two on a regular basis such as weekly at home and maintain a chart as well.
Dental exam: Diabetics are at an increased risk of gum disease due to damaged blood vessels in the mouth. This can cause gum infections and tooth decay which if left unmonitored can lead to tooth loss. Regular check-ups at a dentist every 6 months can help instantly treat problems and keep severe cases at bay.
Lipid Profile: This blood test measures your body’s cholesterol and triglycerides levels. The ideal lipid levels are:
Total cholesterol levels lower than 200mg/dl
LDH lower than 70mg/dl
HDL higher than 50mg/dl
Triglyceride less than 150mg/dl
Having abnormal amounts of bad (LDL) cholesterol or triglycerides can lead to several problems such as hypertension and cardiac arrest. Maintaining healthy levels is essential for everyone but crucial for diabetics.
Eye exam: Apart from your regular eye check-up a yearly dilated eye exam is essential to ensure there are no damage to the blood vessels in the eyes (Diabetic Retinopathy) Getting a regular eye exam helps maintain a healthy vision as treatment is possible at the onset of any damage. If left untreated, severe damage to the blood vessels can lead to significant vision problems.
Kidney exam: Excess blood sugar levels can also damage blood vessels in the kidneys resulting in excess proteins in the urine. To check that there is no damage to the kidneys, doctors may ask for a urine albumin test which shows if your kidneys are leaking protein, which is an early indication of kidney ailment.
Your doctor may also check your blood creatinine levels to check for protein levels. A creatinine level of more than 1.2 for women and 1.4 for men could be a sign of kidney ailment.
Vaccines: In some cases, doctors may suggest certain flu or pneumonia vaccines to patients with diabetes to prevent contracting serious illnesses which may affect the blood sugar levels adversely and further any harmful complications.
These above-mentioned tests and timelines are typically recommended for diabetics, however, it is advised to always consult your doctor and follow their advice. You can also choose the Jubination Health Plan that takes care of all your need to help you manage your diabetes easily and effortlessly and lead a worry free life.
Regular check-up and a healthy lifestyle can maintain healthy blood sugar levels, leading to a full and healthy life even with diabetes.