An A1c test measures average blood glucose levels over the previous two to three months. This test should be done every three to six months.
Your blood pressure should be taken at every office visit. The recommended blood pressure for people with diabetes is below 140/90 mm Hg.
Diabetes adds significantly to other risk factors for coronary heart disease, including elevated LDL cholesterol levels, low HDL cholesterol levels, and triglycerides. You should get an annual blood test to check these levels once a year.
Diabetic retinopathy (eye damage) is the most common complication of diabetes. You should have an annual eye exam, during which special drops will be used to dilate your pupils. This allows the doctor to get a good look at the retina and detect any damage early.
To detect kidney damage (nephropathy) in its early stages, people with type 2 diabetes should have a urine test once a year.
Your feet are especially vulnerable to problems, including nerve damage and infection, when you have diabetes. You should have a thorough foot exam by a podiatrist once a year, as well as a brief one at every office visit.
Having diabetes puts you at higher risk for gum disease (periodontitis). Over time, inflammation in the gums can damage bone and cause tooth loss. Visit your dentist every six months to stay on top of your dental health.
Being overweight is the major contributing factor for type 2 diabetes. Your doctor should weigh you at every visit.
Getting the flu or another virus can raise your blood sugar levels and potentially lead to complications. Get a flu shot every Fall; ask your doctor if you also should get the pneumonia vaccine.