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Physical Exam for Type 2 Diabetes

If your doctor suspects that you have type 2 diabetes, he or she will do a complete physical exam. This means he or she will:

  • Measure your height and weight. For children and teens, height and weight will be compared with what is considered normal for their age groups.
  • Check your blood pressure.
  • Check your eyes, including movement, pupil response to light, and the back of the eye (retina).
  • Check your thyroid gland. Your doctor will check this gland by feeling it while you swallow. Thyroid problems sometimes develop in people who have diabetes.
  • Listen to your heart and lung sounds and checking your blood flow (pulse) in your arms, legs, and feet. Your doctor also may listen to the blood flow in your neck (carotid) arteries for evidence of plaque buildup from atherosclerosis.
  • Check for a skin condition called acanthosis nigricans.
  • Examine your feet for sores, injuries, and decreased sensation. The health professional will gently touch your feet and hands with a vibrating metal tuning fork and small pieces of fine nylon fiber (microfilament testing).
  • Examine your nervous system by checking your reflexes and your ability to feel touch in your arms, legs, and feet.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerJennifer Hone, MD - Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
Last RevisedJuly 1, 2011

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: July 01, 2011
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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If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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