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Type 1 Diabetes: Medical History and Physical Exam - Topic Overview

Symptoms of type 1 diabetes usually happen quickly. If ignored, the diagnosis of type 1 diabetes may happen in an emergency room or hospital.

If your doctor thinks that you might have type 1 diabetes, he or she may ask questions about your symptoms, family history of the disease, and personal medical history. Questions for the medical history may include the following:

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  • Have you had increased thirst, increased urination, and fatigue?
  • How long have the symptoms been present?
  • Have you had an increase in appetite?
  • Have you lost weight lately?
  • Is there a family history of diabetes?
  • What other medical conditions do you have?
  • What medicines are you are currently taking?
  • Have you been ill recently?
  • Has growth and development progressed normally (if the person is a child)?

Your doctor will also give you a complete physical exam. You will continue having exams on a regular basis if you are diagnosed with this disease. The physical exam includes:

  • Measuring your height and weight. Children and teens will have their height and weight compared to standards that are normal for their age groups.
  • Checking your blood pressure. For adults, blood pressure may be checked while standing and sitting.
  • Checking your eyes.
  • Feeling your neck to evaluate your thyroid gland. Thyroid problems sometimes develop in people who have diabetes.
  • Listening to your heart and lung sounds and checking the blood flow (pulses) in your arms, legs, and feet.
  • Checking for signs of dehydration, such as loose skin, a dry mouth, or sunken eyeballs.
  • Checking alertness, if you are very ill.
  • Checking your feet for problems including corns, calluses, blisters, cuts, cracks, or sores.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: July 16, 2013
    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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    Type 1 Diabetes: Medical History and Physical Exam Topics

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    or
    Answer:
    Low
    0-69
    Normal
    70-130
    High
    131+

    Your level is currently

    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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