Diabetes can be hard on your child's body if it's not well controlled. But having certain tests on a regular schedule can help you and your doctor find problems early, when it's easier to start managing them.
Your child's doctor may vary some of the tests, how often the tests are done, and the goals set for your child. This may depend on your child's age, size, and whether he or she has type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The tests your child may have include these listed here.
A1c blood test: This test shows the average level of your child's blood sugar over the past 2 to 3 months. It helps the doctor determine whether blood sugar levels have been staying within your child's target range.
Blood pressure test: This test measures the pressure of blood flow in your child's arteries. Controlling blood pressure can help prevent damage to nerves and blood vessels.
Cholesterol test: This test measures the amount of a type of fat in the blood. High cholesterol is common with diabetes. This raises the risk for heart attack and stroke.
Albumin-creatinine ratio test: This test checks for kidney damage by looking for the protein albumin (say "al-BYOO-mun") in the urine. Albumin is normally found in the blood. Kidney damage can let small amounts of it (microalbumin) leak into the urine.
Complete foot examination: The doctor checks for foot sores, foot pulses, and whether any sensation has been lost.
Dental examination and cleaning: The dentist checks for gum disease and tooth decay. Children with high blood sugar are more likely to have these problems.
Complete eye examination: High blood sugar levels can damage the eyes. This examination is done by an ophthalmologist or optometrist. It includes a dilated eye examination. The examination shows whether there's damage to the back of the eye (diabetic retinopathy).
Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) blood test: This test checks for thyroid disease. Too little thyroid hormone can cause some medicines (like insulin) to stay in the body longer.
Celiac disease: This test checks for a problem some people have with foods that contain gluten.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
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Current as of: December 7, 2017
John Pope, MD, MPH - Pediatrics
& Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
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