Type 1 Diabetes: Living With the Disease - Exams and Tests
You need to see your doctor about every
3 to 6 months throughout your life for
tests and exams to see how you are doing and to adjust your treatment for
type 1 diabetes.
After you have had
diabetes for 3 to 5 years, you will need annual tests to look for signs of eye
damage (diabetic retinopathy), kidney damage (diabetic nephropathy), and less
feeling in your feet (diabetic neuropathy).
Other possible tests
You may also need:
Continuous glucose monitoring, if your doctor
recommends it. You wear a monitor that checks your blood sugar level
continuously for 24 to 72 hours. The results are stored in the monitor and can
show your blood sugar level pattern. The monitor also can be used to spot low
or high blood sugar levels. These devices may use an alarm to warn you of low
or falling blood sugar. Also, someday they may be used with insulin pumps to
automatically change your insulin dose as needed.
A stress test before you begin a
vigorous exercise program. Your doctor may want you to have this test to see
whether you have signs of heart disease. Your doctor may use an EKG along with
a test called a nuclear scan to measure the blood flow in your heart. These
tests together may be especially useful for finding heart problems in people
who have diabetes.
An examination by a
cardiologist, if you develop heart problems related to
thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) test when type 1
diabetes is diagnosed and then every 1 to 2 years. This test checks for thyroid
problems, which are common among people with diabetes.
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Your level is currently
If the level is below 70 and 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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