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The NDSS is administered by Diabetes Australia
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Diabetes health checks

The diabetes annual cycle of care is a checklist for reviewing your diabetes management and general health each year. Your doctor will do this review to help you, and your diabetes health professionals manage your diabetes, and your risk of diabetes-related complications.

It is essential to do an annual cycle of care to find any health problems early. If there are early signs of health problems, you can discuss the best possible treatment with your doctor and diabetes health professionals. Without regular checks, diabetes can lead to health problems that can affect your whole body, including your kidneys, eyes, feet, nerves and heart.

Have regular appointments with your doctor and diabetes health professionals. They can advise you about the blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol target ranges that are best for you.

Speak to diabetes health professionals about how you can best reduce your risk of diabetes-related complications.

Read more in our fact sheets:

Listen to our Annual cycle of care podcast series.

How are you going with your cycle of care?

Complete all your annual cycle of care health checks. These checks are very important for assessing your health and your risks of diabetes-related complications. See our cycle of care checklist below to make sure you are on track.

These times and targets are a general guide for adults. Ask your doctor for the timing of health checks and targets that meet your individual health needs.

Ask your doctor about the targets for each of your health checks that meet your individual needs. Write down your targets.

Cycle of care checklist
How often Checks to carry out
Daily self-checks Foot check—look for signs of infection, swelling, redness or skin breaks. See your GP or a podiatrist if you notice any changes in your feet.
1–3 months Foot assessment (high-risk feet)—with podiatrist, doctor or diabetes educator
3–6 months Foot assessment (moderate-risk feet)—with podiatrist, doctor or diabetes educator
6 months Blood pressure—with doctor or practice nurse
6–12 months HbA1c—with doctor
12 months Foot assessment (very-low and low-risk feet)—with podiatrist, doctor or diabetes educator

Kidney health—with doctor or endocrinologist

Blood fats (cholesterol and triglycerides)—with doctor

Medication review—with doctor

Dental check—with dentist

2 years Eye examination—with doctor, optometrist or ophthalmologist
When indicated Driver’s licence assessment—with doctor

Information prescriptions

To help you manage your diabetes and reduce your risk of diabetes-related complications, work with your diabetes health professional to set goals and fill in a personalised Information Prescription. Information Prescriptions help you understand and improve your health targets to manage your diabetes. Read more about Information Prescriptions.

Health checks to have annually

Foot checks

Wash your feet every day and dry all areas and in between the toes. Get to know your feet and check them every day.

Ask your diabetes health professional if you have very-low, low, moderate, or high-risk feet. Discuss foot checks and how to best look after your feet with them.

See a health professional urgently for all foot injuries.

Read more about looking after your feet.

Read more in our fact sheet Looking after your feet.

Listen to episode 5 Foot health and seeing a podiatrist, and other episodes in episodes in the Annual Cycle of Care podcast series.

Go to Foot Forward to find out more about looking after your feet.

Sign up for a FootSmart program.

Eye checks

Have regular eye checks with your optometrist or ophthalmologist.

See your optometrist or ophthalmologist for an eye check as soon as you notice any changes in your vision.

Work with your diabetes health professionals to keep your blood glucose levels, blood pressure and cholesterol as close to your target ranges as possible.

Register with KeepSight to make it easier to remember to book regular eye checks. Go to KeepSight to register for the eye check reminder program for people with diabetes.

Read more about eye health.

Read more in our fact sheet Looking after your eyes.

Listen to Episode 6 Eye Health – Seeing an optometrist, and other episodes in the Annual Cycle of Care podcast series

Kidney health

Work with your diabetes health professionals to keep your blood glucose levels and blood pressure as close to your target ranges as possible.

Ask your doctor how often you should have a kidney check.

Speak to your doctor or diabetes health professional about what you can do to help keep your kidneys healthy.

Contact your doctor immediately if you think you have a bladder of kidney infection.

Read more about kidney health at bladder and kidneys.

Listen to Episode 4 Kidney health, and other episodes in the Annual Cycle of Care podcast series.

Blood glucose levels

Checking your blood glucose levels throughout the day will help you make decisions that keep levels within your target range.

Your doctor, diabetes nurse practitioner or diabetes educator can help you choose a blood glucose meter that suits your needs, show you how to use it and help you work out a routine for when to check your blood glucose levels.

Talk to your diabetes health professionals about the target range for your blood glucose levels and your HbA1c test. They will recommend the target ranges that are best for you.

Read more about blood glucose levels and monitoring.

Read more in our fact sheet Blood glucose monitoring.

HbA1c

This blood test reflects your average blood glucose level over the last 10–12 weeks.

Talk to your diabetes health professionals about the target range for your blood glucose levels and your HbA1c test. They will recommend the target ranges that are best for you.

Read more about HbA1c.

Read more in our fact sheet Blood glucose monitoring.

Blood pressure

Ask your general practitioner (GP) or practice nurse to check your blood pressure at every visit or at least every six months. As a general guide, the target for people with diabetes is 130/80 to 140/90, or less. Research shows that keeping blood pressure in the target range reduces the risk of diabetes-related complications such as stroke, heart, kidney and eye disease, and nerve damage.

Your doctor will advise you on a blood pressure target to meet your individual health needs.

Read more about blood pressure or high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia during pregnancy.

Dental checks

Have a dental check at least once a year. Your dentist will assess the health of your gums and teeth. If you have dentures, your dentist will look for pressure spots and check the fit of your dentures.

Make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible if you notice any signs of tooth decay or gum disease.

You can protect your teeth and gums with regular brushing and flossing.

Read more in our fact sheet Looking after your dental health.

Listen to Episode 7 Dental health and seeing your dentist, and other episodes in the Annual cycle of care podcast series.

More information and support