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Type 1 Diabetes: Recently Diagnosed - Exams and Tests

Routine tests

Routine tests for type 1 diabetes include an A1c or similar test (glycosylated hemoglobin or glycohemoglobin) that estimates your average blood sugar level over the previous 2 to 3 months. It helps monitor blood sugar control after treatment has started.

You need to see your doctor about every 3 to 6 months throughout your life for exams and tests to watch your condition and adjust your treatment.

For more information, see the schedule for exams and tests beginning at diagnosis.

After you have had diabetes for 3 to 5 years, you will need annual tests to watch for signs of damage to your eyes (diabetic retinopathy), kidneys (diabetic nephropathy), heart, blood vessels, and nerves (diabetic neuropathy). If your child has diabetes, this testing should begin at puberty.

Other tests

You may need a 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.

If you are very ill

You may have found out that you have type 1 diabetes when your insulin levels dropped very low and you were admitted to a hospital for diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). The following tests were likely used to diagnose and monitor treatment of ketoacidosis. You may have these tests again if you develop DKA in the future.

  • Chemistry screen, arterial blood gases, and other blood tests, to check your blood sugar (glucose) level, levels of electrolytes in the blood, other potential causes of acidosis, and general state of health
  • Urinalysis, to check whether high amounts of ketones and sugar (glucose) are in your urine

More Information:

  • What Is A1c?

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 05, 2010
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 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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