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Exams and Tests

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Tests to screen for complications

After you have had type 1 diabetes for 3 to 5 years, your doctor may recommend these tests.

  • A complete eye exam by an ophthalmologist or optometrist. High blood sugar levels from diabetes can damage your eyes. This test can find problems early. If you do not have any signs of diabetic retinopathy, your doctor may recommend less frequent exams. For example, you may have this test every 2 years.
  • A foot exam to check for diabetic neuropathy. Your doctor may look at your feet for sores and calluses at every visit. If you have one or more foot problems, you may need to have your feet checked more than once a year. A child who has diabetes may not need a thorough examination of his or her feet each year until after puberty.
  • A cholesterol and triglyceride test. This test shows your LDL cholesterol level. You and your doctor can adjust your treatment plan according to how high it is. If you are an adult and have normal results, you may be tested every 2 years. If your child's levels are normal, then he or she can be tested every 5 years.
  • A urine test, to check for protein. If protein is found, you'll have more tests to help guide the best treatment. Protein in the urine can be a sign of kidney damage (diabetic nephropathy).
  • A blood test for creatinine and glomerular filtration rate (GFR). These tests check for kidney disease.
  • A liver function test. This test looks for damage to the liver.
  • A thyroid-stimulating hormone test. This test checks for thyroid problems, which are common among people who have diabetes. If the test is normal, your doctor may suggest you have the test again every 1 to 2 years.

See a list of tests to monitor diabetes to help you remember what to do and when.

Dental checkups

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 28, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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