Physical examination for type 2 diabetes

If your health professional suspects that you have type 2 diabetes, he or she will do a complete physical examination that includes:

  • Measuring your height and weight. For children and teens, height and weight will be compared with what is considered normal for their age groups.
  • Checking your blood pressure.
  • Checking your eyes, including movement, pupil response to light, and the back of the eye (retina).
  • Checking your thyroid gland. Your health professional will check this gland by feeling it while you swallow. Thyroid problems sometimes develop in people with diabetes.
  • Listening to your heart and lung sounds and checking your blood flow (pulse) in your arms, legs, and feet. Your health professional also may listen to the blood flow in your neck (carotid) arteries for evidence of plaque buildup from atherosclerosis.
  • Checking for a skin condition called acanthosis nigricans.
  • Examining your feet for sores, injuries, and decreased sensation. The health professional will gently touch your feet and hands with a vibrating metal tuning fork and small pieces of fine nylon fiber (microfilament testing).
  • Examining your nervous system by checking your reflexes and your ability to feel touch in your arms, legs, and feet.

Last Updated: June 16, 2008

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