Staying on top of diabetes check-ups can keep the disease uncomplicated.
“The blood sugar, as we know, is an important part of taking care of diabetes, but there’s much more to it,” says Sharon Krispinsky, a diabetes educator with Lee Memorial Health System.
Consider this your diabetes scorecard: At every check-up plan on discussing a weighty issue.
“If patients gain weight, their blood sugar generally goes up with type 2 diabetes. Conversely, if you lose weight with type 2 diabetes you may need less diabetes medication,” says Krispinsky.
If you’re keeping score, blood pressure is another thing to watch.
“Absolutely the blood pressure should be checked at every physician’s appointment. And ideally the blood pressure should be below 130/80,” says Krispinsky.
Your doctor should also go over your glucose record.
“Most of our meters today you can actually download your blood sugar and take your records and graphs to a physician’s office,” says Krispinsky.
Every three months expect to take the A1C test. It looks for the amount of residual sugar in your red blood cells. Keeping proper levels delay or prevent serious complications.
“A1C test is a very important number for patients with diabetes to know. Ideally the A1C should be below 7% and most endocrinologist like it approximately 6.5%,” says Krispinsky.
Once a year, expect lipid testing.
“With diabetes you’re at an increase risk for cardiovascular disease, so one of the lab tests the physicians will be doing annual is lipid profiles; basically showing the amount of fat in the blood. They’re looking at LDL low-density lipid protein and we want those as low as possible,” says Krispinsky.
Urine albumin and creatinine tests look at kidney function. And don’t forget a comprehensive foot exam and eye exam.
Do you find that some people don’t really get that message that it’s a whole curriculum of care?
“Yeah it’s really an important message we try to educate our patients on, that there is testing that should be done every three months, six months and annually,” says Krispinsky.
Paying attention now, can save your health in the long run.