Diabetes Care For You And Your Physician

Also, see Talking to your doctor about diabetes.

One main goal of diabetes is keeping blood glucose levels near the normal range. Keeping these levels in the non-diabetic range greatly reduces the risk of complications associated with diabetes. People who achieve good control over their blood sugars feel better, have more energy and are less prone to severe swings in blood sugar levels.

Good diabetes care begins at home with daily blood sugar tests (or use of a continuous monitor) that are done often enough to achieve your blood sugar goals. Daily monitoring provides the record from which changes in therapy can be made to reach a level of control that is best for your overall health. It is also the cornerstone for feeling at your best each day and preventing unwanted complications. The best record is a complete one: this sample log shows food choices and quantities and blood sugar readings.

Lab Test

To prevent or monitor any damage to blood vessels, the heart, and other organs, certain lab tests are recommended along with routine doctor visits. The table below describes the types of laboratory tests one should have performed and the frequency at which to perform them.

Lab Test Type Frequency Purpose And Goal
HbA1c or Fructosamine

Averages the blood glucose levels for the past 2-3 weeks.

Blood 4 Times
A Year
Averages the blood glucose levels for the past 2-3 months. The goal is 7% or under when normal is 4-6%
Lipid Profile:
Total Chol: <200
LDL: <100 (<20)
HDL: >35 men, >45 women
Triglycerides: <200
Blood fast for 8 hours Yearly The measure of fats and lipids in the blood. It provides good determination for the risk of heart disease.
Microalbumin Urine Yearly It can detect kidney disease at an early stage.
Serum Creatinine Blood Yearly Monitors existing kidney disease at later stages.
24-hour Protein or
24-hour Creatinine Clearance
Urine & Blood
As needed Determines the filtering capacity of the kidney.

Another helpful test to take is the GlycoMark Test. While A1C is an average measure of all blood glucose levels over 2-3 months, GlycoMark enables you to see just the after-meal glucose peaks within a 2-week time frame. With this smaller time frame, patients are able to seek help in changing therapy in a more timely manner, which enables them to maintain better control. The GlycoMark test can also be used in situations where the A1c test cannot be measured or be useful.

When visiting a health care professional, the following should be checked and discussed:

Every year be sure to have the following:

  • A dilated eye exam
  • A detailed foot exam
  • Your seasonal flu shot

Besides routine vaccinations, adults should get a Pneumovax injection every 10 years to prevent the most common type of pneumonia.