Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Mark It On Your Calendar

Many people start the new year with a new calendar, appointment book or journal.

Since diabetes involves a relatively busy care schedule, it's helpful to mark your 2006 calendar with dates for recommended screenings and scheduled doctors' visits.

If you use insulin, your physician may be scheduling you for visits every 3 months. Even if you don't use insulin, the ADA recommends you see your doctor at least every 6 months to monitor your blood pressure, weight, and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c).

Besides regular doctor visits, you may want to make entries for visits to your podiatrist, dentist, eye doctor, diabetes educator, or dietitian. The Diabetes Monitor offers a printable log where you can keep track of your visits, lab results, and goals. It includes the helpful list:

Things to Do At Least Once a Year
  • Get a flu shot (October to mid-November).
  • Get a pneumonia shot (if you’ve never had one).
  • Get a dilated eye exam.
  • Get a foot exam (including check of circulation and nerves).
  • Get a kidney test.
    • Have your urine tested for microalbumin.
    • Have your blood tested for chemicals that measure your kidney function.
  • Get a 24-hour urine test (if your doctor advises).
  • Get your blood fats checked for:
    • Total cholesterol.
    • High-density lipoprotein (HDL).
    • Low-density lipoprotein (LDL).
    • Triglycerides.
  • Get a dental exam (at least twice a year).
  • Talk with your health care team about:
    • How well you can tell when you have low blood glucose.
    • How you are treating high blood glucose.
    • Tobacco use (cigarettes, cigars, pipes, smokeless tobacco).
    • Your feelings about having diabetes.
    • Your plans for pregnancy (if a woman).
    • Other ______________________

For the Diabetes Monitor's logbook:
Take Charge of Your Diabetes