If you are at risk of diabetes and/or heart attack or stroke, you need annual checks, to be agreed with your doctor.
With diabetes you need 9 vital health checks every year. Why not put these checks in your own personal health plan for the coming year?
1. Have your blood pressure measured
and recorded at least once a year, set a personal target that is right for you (less than 130/80 mmHg?), where first number is amount of pressure put on your blood vessels when your heart pumps, and second number is when it relaxes.
Then put it in your personal care/health plan with ways to achieve it as agreed with your doctor.
2. If you have diabetes, or are at risk, get your blood glucose levels measured at least once a year. An HbA1c blood test will measure your overall average blood glucose control and help you and your diabetes healthcare team set your own target (<7.5%?), and put it in your personal care/health plan with ways to achieve it.
3. Have your cholesterol measured every year. Like blood glucose levels and blood pressure, you should have your own target that you think you can reach, and put it in your personal care/health plan with ways to achieve it.
4. Have your eyes screened, twice if you have diabetes:
4.1 You need a good optician to examine the parts of your eyes and your eyesight. Beware that those with diabetes are twice as likely to get cataracts, as compared with the average person. Don't wait for a vision problem!
4.2 If you have diabetes, get your eyes scanned for signs of retinopathy every year. Using a specialised camera, a photo of each eye will be taken and examined by a specialist who will look for any changes to your retina (the seeing part at the back of your eye).
4.2 Remember that retinal screening only inspects the back of your eyes.
5. Have your legs and feet checked
The skin, circulation and nerve supply of your legs and feet should be examined every year. Discuss with your doctor any risk of foot problems, how serious, and how often you should go a specialist foot clinic. Put the answers in your personal health/care plan.
6. Have your kidneys checked every year
You should have two tests for your kidneys: urine test for protein (a sign of possible kidney problems) and a blood test to measure kidney function.
7. Have your weight checked and have your waist measured to see if you need to lose weight. If so, put it in your personal care/health plan with ways to achieve it that you have agreed with your doctor and dietician.
8. Get support if you are a smoker
including advice and support on how to quit,and put it in your personal care/health plan with ways to achieve it. Having diabetes already puts people at increased risk of heart disease and stroke, and smoking further increases this risk.
9. Develop your personal health and care plan with your doctor, to meet your own needs
You live with your health or ill-health every day so you should have a say in every aspect of your care. Your own personal yearly care plan should be agreed as a result of a discussion between you and your specialist healthcare team, where you talk together about your individual needs and set targets and ways to achieve them.
Annual vaccinations against the flu are recommended.
page updated 25 April 2016 © 2016 Social enterprise Diabetes-cutmyrisks.co.uk.™ Ltd.