Diabetes is not just a blood sugar problem. It is linked to a number of health problems and complications. The scariest thing about diabetic complications is that they progress gradually, resulting into a serious problem which turns out difficult to be controlled.
High blood sugar can damage your body parts even before you notice any symptoms. That is why it is important to take some tests to check blood sugar control. These tests can help in catching complications early, which is crucial for your health.
So, if you are diabetic, don’t miss the following tests:
Haemoglobin A1C (HbA1c)
This test is done to measure your average blood glucose that has been for the last 2-3 months. A much higher blood glucose level for a prolonged period of time can cause damage to teh blood vessels and lead to serious health problems. Take an A1C test at least twice a year to know for sure whether your blood glucose is staying within the healthy range or not.
This healthy level of A1C should be 7 for diabetics. If your blood glucose levels are higher than 7, you must discuss with your health care provider about how to reach the closest to this number. The closer you are, the better are your chances of preventing or delaying health problems that are associated with diabetes.
Every office visit to your doctor must cause you to get your blood pressure checked. Usually a high BP does not show any symptoms and you will probably have no idea if you have it even if you do. High blood pressure can lead to heart problems and stroke, which is why it is mandatory to regularly check it.
As a diabetic, you must aim at keeping your blood pressure to a level of 130 over 80. Ask your doctor about ways to regulate it, if your BP is higher than this value. Lifestyle changes like dieting and exercising can effectively help you with this.
Dilated Eye Exam
Diabetes is harmful for your eyes and a dilated eye exam can check for possible damage inside your eye. If there is damage to your eye, and is not found and treated, it can lead to serious vision problems- even blindness. Eye problems usually develop slowly and the patient often doesn’t notice any warning changes or other symptoms in their vision. Have a dilated eye exam every year to protect your vision.
Kidney Function Test
A urine test is done to check if your kidneys are working properly. This test measures the amount of “albumin” in your urine. Albumin is a protein, higher amounts of which could mean that your kidneys are damaged. If kidney problems become serious, it can lead to a need for kidney dialysis or kidney transplant. To help keep from having serious kidney problems, do your best to keep your blood glucose and blood pressure at healthy levels.
When you have diabetes, the nerves throughout your body can get damaged, and nerve damage tends to be more common in the feet. Nerve damage can make your feet feel numb. If you have blood vessel damage and poor blood circulation in your feet, it is hard for sores to heal. At least once a year, you need to have a complete and thorough foot exam by your doctor or other health professional. This exam includes tests to see if your nerves and blood circulation are healthy.
When you have diabetes, you must know how well you have been managing it. One of the sure shot ways is to get regular health check-ups and tests to ensure that diabetes is not causing other complications. People with diabetes should know that complications aren't inevitable and a lot of them can be prevented by early detection through tests.
Read more on Diabetes.
Image courtesy: Getty images