You have to add a lot of new tasks to your schedule when you’re living with diabetes. One area you need to pay attention to is your annual health checks. As a diabetic, there are specific things your doctor needs to assess every year to ensure that you’re healthy.
Your Annual Health Checks
Generally, there are six health checks you’ll need to get every year. It’s essential that you confirm this with your doctor to ensure that you’re not missing anything.
1. Kidney Function Tests
People with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing kidney disease so it’s common to check your kidney function every year. Your doctor may request blood and urine tests that would assess factors such as glomerular filtration rate (GFR) as well as blood urea nitrogen (BUN).
2. Cholesterol Tests
Diabetes can also affect your cholesterol levels. Since you might not have any symptoms to reflect high cholesterol, it’s important to know what’s happening before you develop heart disease.
3. Eye Exams
If your diabetes isn’t being properly controlled, it can affect the blood vessels that lead to your eyes. Over time, this can cause damage that affects your vision. This damage can take place gradually so it’s critical to get your eyes checked regularly so your doctor can make note of any changes. Specifically, you’ll need to do a dilated eye exam where a doctor will use eyedrops to dilate your eyes so they can identify any damage at the back of your eyes.
4. Hearing Tests
Diabetes can cause nerve damage, which affects different parts of the body. If it troubles your ears, then you may lose your hearing. While managing your blood sugar levels should protect you, it’s still important to get your hearing checked.
5. Thorough Foot Exams
Though it’s important to inspect your feet every day, you need a thorough assessment to ensure that you don’t miss anything. These assessments are essential because it’s easy for you to damage your feet without noticing.
6. Your Flu Shot
It can be risky for people with diabetes to have the flu because high blood glucose levels can affect your white blood cells’ ability to fight infections. Doctors recommend that you get an annual flu shot to prevent getting sick.
Along with these checks, you may need pneumonia and Hepatitis B shots once if you’re not 60 yet.
Checks That Should Be More Frequent
Of course, only some things should wait until a year has passed. You should see the dentist every six months to