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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.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    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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