Tests to monitor type 2 diabetes

See your doctor about every 3 to 6 months throughout life for tests and exams to monitor type 2 diabetes and adjust your treatment. You also need certain tests done regularly to monitor for complications.

Type 2 diabetes tests
Time interval Exams and tests
Every 3 months

Visit your doctor for:

  • A review of your blood sugar levels since your last checkup. Your doctor may evaluate whether your treatment needs to be changed.
  • A blood pressure check. Keep your blood pressure below 130/80 mm Hg.1 If you have high blood pressure, ask whether you should monitor your blood pressure at home.
  • An examination of your feet for signs of injury, infection, or other foot problems.
  • A hemoglobin A1c or similar test (glycosylated hemoglobin or glycohemoglobin). If your blood sugar levels are stable and your treatment hasn't changed, this test may be done every 6 months.
Every 6 months

Visit your dentist for an exam to check for gum problems.

Every year

Visit an ophthalmologist for a dilated eye exam (ophthalmoscopy). Some doctors may recommend less frequent eye exams if you have no signs of diabetic retinopathy.

Visit your doctor for:

  • A cholesterol (LDL and HDL) and triglyceride test. If your levels are normal, you may be tested every 1 to 2 years.
    • Keep your LDL cholesterol level less than 100 mg/dL, or aim for keeping it at 70 mg/dL, keep your triglyceride level less than 150 mg/dL, and if possible, keep your HDL cholesterol level more than 40 mg/dL. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends that women achieve an HDL level of more than 50 mg/dL.2
  • A thorough examination of your feet, including testing your ability to feel sensation.
  • A urine test for protein, an indicator of kidney damage. Either of the following tests may be done:
    • Microalbuminuria dipstick test, to estimate the amount of protein in a urine sample
    • Spot urine test for microalbuminuria, to measure the exact amount of protein in a urine sample

As needed

A blood glucose test. This test may be used to check the accuracy of your blood sugar meter to be certain your home blood sugar tests are reliable. It also may be done if your doctor is adjusting your oral diabetes medicine.

Citations

  1. American Diabetes Association (2008). Standards of medical care in diabetes. Diabetes Care, 31(Suppl 1): S12–S54.
  2. American Diabetes Association (2004). Dyslipidemia management in adults with diabetes. Clinical Practice Recommendations 2004. Diabetes Care, 27(Suppl 1): S68–S71.

Last Updated: June 16, 2008

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