Diabetes: Exams and Tests


For your diabetes care, you may see your primary care provider or a specialist 4 times a year. This page lists some of the regular exams and tests recommended for people with diabetes. To learn more, contact the American Diabetes Association (800-342-2383, www.diabetes.org).

Tests and Immunizations

These should be done at least as often as stated below:

  • Blood pressure check: every doctor visit

  • A1C: at first, every 2 to 3 months

  • Cholesterol and blood lipid tests: at least every 12 months.

  • Urine tests for kidney function: every 12 months

  • Flu shots: once a year

  • Pneumonia shots: at least once, then as needed

  • Vaccinations: keep them up to date

  • Other tests: as recommended by your doctor

Regular Exams

The following exams help keep you healthy.

  • Foot exams. Nerve and blood vessel problems can affect your feet sooner than other parts of your body. Make sure that your healthcare provider checks your feet at every office visit.

  • Eye exams. You can have problems with your eyes even if you don’t have trouble seeing. An ophthalmologist (eye doctor) will give you a dilated eye exam at least once a year. If you see dark spots, see poorly in dim light, have eye pain or pressure, or notice any other problems, tell your healthcare provider right away.

  • Dental exams. Gum disease (also called periodontal disease) and other mouth problems are common in people with diabetes. To help prevent these problems, see your dentist at least once a year.

Ask your healthcare provider what other exams you’ll need on a regular basis.

Medical Reviewer: Chambers, Jeanette K, PhD, RN, CS; DeLeuw, Bonnie, RN, BSN, CDE Last Annual Review Date: April 2, 2012 Copyright: © 2000-2013 Krames StayWell, 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

Reference: Diabetes section on Better Medicine


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