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Diabetes health checks

Keep your diabetes care on track. An annual cycle of care includes health checks of your:

  • blood glucose levels
  • blood pressure
  • feet
  • eyes
  • kidneys

These health checks review your diabetes management and general health. They also serve as a reminder for when any tests are due, such as eye or kidney function checks. Regular checks help to prevent serious diabetes complications—like problems with your kidneys, eyes, feet, nerves and heart.

Your doctor will do this review. It is important to identify any health concerns early and discuss the best treatment with your doctor or diabetes health professionals.

Read more in our fact sheet Your diabetes annual cycle of care.

How are you going with your cycle of care?

See our cycle of care checklist below to make sure you are on track.

Cycle of care checklist
How oftenChecks to carry out
Daily self-checksFoot check—look for signs of infection, swelling, redness or skin breaks
3–6 monthsFoot assessment (high-risk feet)—with podiatrist, doctor or diabetes educator
6–12 monthsBlood pressure—with doctor or practice nurse

HbA1c—with doctor

12 monthsFoot assessment (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 yearsEye examination—with doctor, optometrist or ophthalmologist
When indicatedDriver’s licence assessment—with doctor

Related information

Feet

Check your feet every day. Have difficulty reaching your feet? Use a mirror or ask a family member or carer to help. Don’t know what to look for? Ask your health professional to show you how to check your feet

Once a year, have a foot check with a podiatrist, doctor or diabetes educator. They will examine your feet for any current problems and help you avoid future foot problems.

Read more about looking after your feet.

Eyes

If eye problems are left untreated, it can affect your vision and lead to blindness. The earlier that problems are detected and treated, the better the result.

Have regular eyes checks with an optometrist or ophthalmologist to look for early signs of damage.

Read more about looking after your eyes.

Kidneys

If your blood pressure and blood glucose levels remain high over time, the risk of damage to your kidneys (diabetic nephropathy) can increase. Every 12 months, your doctor or endocrinologist will arrange a urine test to check for small amounts of protein in your urine (called microalbumin). A blood test to assess your kidney function is also recommended.

Read more about kidney health or looking after your bladder and kidneys.

Blood glucose levels

One of the aims of diabetes treatment is to keep blood glucose levels within a specified target range. Blood glucose monitoring can help you understand the link between blood glucose, food, exercise and insulin.

When and how often you should test your blood glucose levels varies depending on each individual, the type of diabetes and the tablets and/or insulin being used. Blood glucose levels are measured in millimoles per litre of blood (mmol/L).

Read more about blood glucose levels and monitoring.

HbA1c

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

Read more about blood glucose monitoring or HbA1c.

Blood pressure

Blood pressure is the pressure of the blood in the arteries as the heart pumps it around the body. High blood pressure can result in increased risks of stroke, heart disease, kidney disease, eye disease and nerve damage.

Diabetes and high blood pressure are often found together. This is because diabetes causes certain chemical changes in the body that increase the risk of blood pressure.

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

Dental health

Looking after your dental health is important, especially when you have diabetes. Caring for your teeth and gums and managing your blood glucose levels can help reduce your risk of dental problems.

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