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First Visit

Your first visit with a doctor about your diabetes is separated into four parts.

  • First, the doctor should take a medical history by asking questions about your lifestyle, past complications, and previous diabetes treatment plan.
  • Second, the doctor should perform a complete physical exam.
  • Third, the doctor should run blood and urine tests to determine your blood glucose level, glycohemoglobin level (a measurement of the average blood glucose levels over the past two to three months), cholesterol and fat levels, and urine protein level. Depending on your lifestyle and past complications, a doctor may perform additional tests.
  • Fourth, a healthcare team should work with you to make a plan for managing diabetes.

The following checklist will help you make sure your healthcare team performed complete job at your first visit. Did your healthcare team:

  • Measure your height and weight?
  • Measure your blood pressure?
  • Look in your eyes, ask you about any vision problems, and refer you to an eye doctor?
  • Look in your mouth and ask about your dental health?
  • Feel your neck to check your thyroid gland and performs tests if necessary?
  • Feel your abdomen to check on your liver and other organs?
  • Take your pulse?
  • Look at your hands and fingers?
  • Listen to your heart through a stethoscope?
  • Look at your feet while you have your socks and shoes off and check the sensation and pulses in your feet?
  • Check your skin, especially the places where you inject insulin?
  • Test your reflexes?
  • Take blood and urine samples for tests?
  • Ask about your diagnosis with diabetes?
  • Ask for results of lab tests you had in the past?
  • Ask about your eating habits and weight history?
  • Ask about your current diabetes treatment plan?
  • Ask how often and how hard you exercise?
  • Ask about times you’ve had ketoacidosis (ketones in the urine) and low blood glucose reactions?
  • Ask about infections you’ve had?
  • Ask what complications you’ve had and what treatments you received for them?
  • Ask what medicines you are taking?
  • Ask about factors that make you more likely to get heart disease such as smoking, high blood pressure, poor eating and exercise habits, high cholesterol levels, and family history?
  • Ask what other medical problems you’ve had?
  • Ask who else in your family has diabetes?
  • Ask about problems you may have had while pregnant?
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