Why they test . . .
. . . and what they test for
What are they looking for?
Some people who have had diabetes for many years find that the tiny blood vessels at the back of their eyes get damaged. It’s hard to spot problems with sight so the back of your eye will be photographed using a digital camera to ensure all’s OK.
Weighing and measuring
This is done to make sure you are a healthy weight for your height and to see whether you are growing taller at the right rate.
Some people who have had diabetes for many years have problems with their kidneys. Protein in the urine is a very early warning sign of this, and it’s a good way for clinic staff to treat any problems as early as possible.
Injection sites should be examined to make sure your injection technique is OK and you haven't been injecting too much in the same place.
The tests you do give an immediate idea of your blood glucose level. The tests at the clinic will give an idea of your long-term control.
The HbA1c blood test gives a guide to your blood glucose level over the previous eight to 12 weeks. A Fructosamine test gives a guide to your blood glucose level over the previous two to three weeks.
A test for thyroid function or coeliac disease many also be done.
This is checked to make sure your heart is working properly. High blood pressure can have a bad effect on your health.
Checking legs and feet
If you’ve had diabetes for many years, a chiropodist may check the nerves in your feet are working properly and that your circulation is OK. A doctor or nurse may also do this.
Each clinic’s tests may vary, but this gives you some idea of why they are done.
How often will they test?
All these tests will be done at least once a year and this is called the annual review. You might have some of the tests done more often depending on your own individual circumstances and your healthcare team.