Managing Type 2 Diabetes For Dummies
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When you have type 2 diabetes, you'll get a series of physical exams and lab tests each year for your diabetes and to screen for any complications. Here's a schedule of what to expect from your appointments and a list of what to bring to the doctor's office with you. Being prepared can help you make the most of these appointments and possibly prevent or delay diabetes complications.

Physical exams and appointments

  • Weight and height measurements for calculating BMI (every visit)
  • Blood pressure measurement (every visit)
  • Foot check with diabetes care provider (every visit) or podiatrist (once a year or more often if you have problems)
  • Setting goals for food and exercise with diabetes care provider, nurse, physician assistant, or certified diabetes educator (once a year or more often)
  • Discussion of medications, old and new, as well as refills of prescriptions (every visit)
  • Comprehensive dilated eye exam by optometrist or ophthalmologist (once a year; every other year if your eye specialist recommends it)
  • Teeth cleaning (every 6 months) and mouth exam (once a year) by dental hygienist and dentist
  • Ankle-brachial index test if you have signs of peripheral artery disease, or PAD (as needed)

Lab tests

  • A1C test, by diabetes care provider (blood test; 2 to 4 times a year)
  • Cholesterol measurements for LDL and HDL cholesterol and triglycerides (fasting blood test; every 5 years or more often as needed)
  • Serum Creatinine/eGFR (blood test; once a year) to measure your kidney function
  • Urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio (urine sample; once a year) to measure your kidney function

What to bring with you

  • Blood glucose meter or logbook
  • A list of all your current medications
  • A list of questions or concerns to discuss with your provider
  • Anything else your healthcare provider's office specifies
Don't be afraid to call and ask what you need to bring.

About This Article

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The American Diabetes Association leads the fight against the deadly consequences of diabetes and advocates for those affected by diabetes. They fund research to prevent, cure, and manage diabetes, deliver services to hundreds of communities, and provide objective and credible information.

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