Tests to Monitor Your Care: Type 2 Diabetes
Staying healthy when you have type 2 diabetes means getting regular checkups. Your doctor may recommend the following tests during your next visit:
Glycated hemoglobin test (A1c): The A1c blood test measures your average blood glucose control for the past 2 to 3 months. Your doctor takes a blood sample to check your hemoglobin (a protein in red blood cells). A healthy level in adults is below 7%. You should take this test every three to six months.
Blood pressure test: This test measures the pressure in the walls of your blood vessels. Your blood pressure should be tested at every routine diabetes visit, at least annually, and should be less than 130/80.
Lipid profile test: A lipid profile is one measure of a person's risk of cardiovascular disease. This blood test measures the amount of fat in your blood. The two kinds of cholesterol are HDL, the “good cholesterol,” and LDL, the “bad cholesterol.” Your total cholesterol should be less than 200 mg/dL. Your LDL should be less than 100. For women, your HDL should be over 50—for a man, over 40. Triglycerides should be less than 150. Your doctor will recommend this test annually.
Urinary microalbuminuria test: Diabetes can damage your kidneys. This yearly test looks at your kidneys by checking for protein in the urine. Your doctor may also perform a yearly GFR test (glomerular filtration rate), which looks at how well your kidneys are filtering a waste called creatinine, which is produced by your muscles.
Dilated eye exam: The blood vessels in your eyes can be damaged by high blood sugar and high blood pressure. It is important to see an eye doctor each year even if you aren’t having vision problems.
Foot exam: When blood sugar is not under control, it can lead to nerve damage in the feet. It is important to visit a foot doctor each year; he or she will check the nerves and blood flow in your feet. You should look at your feet often for cuts, bruises and sores. And be sure to keep your feet clean. Diabetes is the leading cause of non-traumatic foot or leg amputation.