5 tests diabetics should take regularly


Diabetes is linked to a number of health conditions and complications. The most scary part of diabetes is that the associated complications progress gradually and become a huge problem later on when controlling them becomes really difficult. Therefore, ideally people with diabetes should be aware of physical changes that take place in them and should immediately notify them to their doctors. In order to live well with diabetes, you should take up these 5 tests on a regular basis.

1. Blood pressure and cholesterol: Diabetes is also related to other chronic diseases like hypertension and heart diseases. Therefore, you should regularly check your blood pressure two to four times in a year and a lipid profile test (for cholesterol) at least once every year.

2. Eye checkup: If you’re diabetic you should get your vision and eye health checked every year. Extended and insufficient blood glucose control can weaken and cause damage to small blood vessels in the retina (innermost layer of the eye). This condition is called diabetic retinopathy which is characterized by signs including blurred vision, double vision and a severe, permanent loss of vision. It also increases the risk of developing cataract and glaucoma. Read more about how diabetes can make you blind.

3. Physical examination for diabetic neuropathy: High blood sugar can cause damage to the nerves in the body resulting in a condition called diabetic neuropathy. Symptoms may include numbness of the extremities, diarrhoea, loss of bladder control, vision changes and dizziness. If you have any of these symptoms report to your doctor. During your physical exam, your doctor will check how well you can feel touch, pain, movement, etc. and also your strength and reflexes. If nerve damage is suspected electromyogram (EMG) and nerve conduction studies may be conducted.

4. Kidney function test: Get your kidney function assessed once every year because being a diabetic can put you at a higher risk of diabetic nephropathy caused by damage to the blood vessels in your kidney. The risk is higher in diabetics who have hypertension. Urinary albumin test (that checks albumin protein in urine), blood urea nitrogen and urine creatinine are the other tests that may be done to check kidney function.

5. Dental check up: Get your teeth and gums checked by your dentist at least twice in a year. Diabetes can affect your oral health significantly. High blood sugar levels increases your risk of tooth decay and cavities. Gum disease can happen more often, be more severe, and take longer to heal if you have diabetes….

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