The most important tests for people with Diabetes
People with Diabetes need to keep a tight control over their blood sugar (glucose) levels and Glycated Hemoglobin or Hemoglobin A1c levels at all times, to avoid the damages often caused by a poorly controlled Diabetes, therefore, their quality of life won’t be affected.
When Diabetes isn’t adequately controlled, high blood glucose levels begin to damage the body, and over time, they help develop all those dreaded chronic complications associated with a poor Diabetes control.
Chronic complications are irreversible damages that occur most often in the eyes, kidneys, lower extremities, and heart, among others. Unfortunately, when these damages begin to appear, they usually did not show previous signs or symptoms that could alert that something bad was happening, and when the signs do appear, these damages have already an advanced or severe stage, are irreversible, and may cause partial, total disability, or even premature death.
Due to this, it is very important for every person with Diabetes to get laboratory tests regularly; this way, a problem can be detected at an early stage and treated on time to prevent the chronic complications, which a poorly controlled Diabetes can cause.
Your doctor can detect dangerous signs before any problems can cause damage to your body, with a physical examination or through laboratory tests, which must be performed with the indicated regularity. When doctors detect these signs, they can slow down or stop their progression, by prescribing a treatment or a lifestyle change.
The partial loss of vision is a sign of Retinopathy, when the retina is damaged, but this is already a very late symptom and unfortunately, at this stage, the damage is irreversible (Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy), seriously affecting the patient’s eyesight. Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in the world.
An ophthalmologist can detect any problem before any damage occurs and stop or slow down the progression of a Retinopathy from its more severe stages, so the eyesight won’t be affected.
Some of the exams and laboratory tests every person with Diabetes should get regularly are:
- General Physical Examination
- Exam to check Hypertension or blood pressure
- Glycated Hemoglobin or A1c test
- Renal function tests
- Complete Eye Exam
- Tests to check blood lipids or fats
- Examinations for any symptoms that may present
Your doctor will indicate the regularity with which the different exams and laboratory tests have to be done, based on your individual characteristics, time of diagnosis, age, sex, symptoms that may arise, and if you already have some type of health problem.
In addition to these exams and laboratory tests, every person with Diabetes should check their blood glucose levels every day, as prescribed by their doctor. This will allow to know your blood glucose level and take the necessary measures to avoid any emergencies that may arise, such as Hypoglycemia or low blood glucose, Hyperglycemia or high blood glucose levels, and Diabetic Ketoacidosis or the presence of ketones in the blood. On the other hand, continuous monitoring of blood glucose levels will also help prevent any damage caused by a poor Diabetes control.
Checking your feet is another routine checkup that you should do at home every day, to make sure you don’t have any sores, blisters, or other gateways to infections, and if so, you can act immediately to solve the problem.
If you have Diabetes, it’s very important to regularly do every exam and laboratory test prescribed by your doctor in order to detect, treat, and stop any problems in time, so you can enjoy a healthy, productive, and happy life.