No matter what type of diabetes you have, there are a number of health checks you need to do at least every year.
These checks are an essential part of preventing serious diabetes complications, for example with your eyes, feet or kidneys.
Your ‘annual cycle of care’ is part of your diabetes care plan.
Check your: How: When:
Blood glucose levels HbA1c (blood test) One to four times a year (every three months)
Blood pressure GP or practice nurse check Once a year, but more often as needed
Cholesterol Blood test Once a year, but more often as needed
Kidney health Blood and urine tests At least once a year, but more often as needed
Feet Daily check Keep an eye out for cuts or blisters every day
Podiatrist Every year, but more often as needed
Eyes Optometrist Every two years, bit more often as needed
Teeth and gums Dentist Once a year, but more often as needed
Medication review GP or pharmacist Once a year, but more often as needed
Insulin review (if you are taking insulin) GP or endocrinologist Two to four times a year, or more as needed
There are other things your diabetes team may check. For example, if you have type 1 diabetes you may need to be screened for coeliac disease (an autoimmune condition where gluten causes bowel inflammation and damage). Always ask your diabetes team where you are up to with your annual cycle of care, or keep a record yourself. It can make a big difference to your health.
Diabetes can also affect your sexual health – for men and women. If you have concerns, talk to your GP or endocrinologist.
Don’t forget to look after your mental and emotional health too. It is not uncommon to feel ‘over it’ living with diabetes every day. Help is available, call Diabetes Tasmania if you wish to talk to a health professional.