Studies have shown that the average person with diabetes spends approximately 63 minutes with their doctor annually. That means about 15 minutes per visit!
So it’s important to make the most of your time at the doctor.
If you have specific concerns or questions you should write them down and carry them with you so you don’t forget to ask before the appointment is over. As a general rule it’s even a good idea to start the appointment with your concerns.
At each regular diabetes visit your doctor should
- Measure weight and blood pressure.
- Inspect feet.
- Review self-monitoring blood glucose (SMBG) record.
- Review/adjust medications.
- Discuss Cardiovascular Disease prevention.
- Review self-care skills, dietary issues, and physical activity levels.
- Consider referral for medical nutrition therapy, diabetes self-management education, and psycho-social assessment.
- Counsel on smoking cessation and alcohol use (if needed).
Four times a year
Obtain A1C results
- Obtain fasting lipid profile (every 2 years if normal).
- Obtain serum creatinine and urinalysis for protein, microalbumin, and albumin-to-creatinine ratio.
- Refer for dilated eye exam (if normal, an eye care specialist may advise an exam every 2–3 years).
- Perform comprehensive foot exam.
- Administer influenza vaccination.
- Review need for other preventive services.
Administer pneumococcal vaccination (repeat if over 64 or immuno-compromised and last vaccination was more than 5 years ago).
Administer Hepatitis B vaccine
You may need vaccines to protect you against other illnesses. Ask your health care provider if you need any of these:
Human Papilloma Virus. The HPV virus puts women at greater risk for cervical cancer and men at greater risk for oral cancers. You need this vaccine if you are a woman age 26 or younger or a man age 21 or younger. Men age 22 through 26 with a risk condition also need vaccination. Any other men age 22 through 26 who want protection from HPV may receive it, too. The vaccine is given in 3 doses over 6 months
Measles/Mumps/Rubella vaccine. You need a vaccine if you were born later than 1957. You also may need a booster.
Hepatitis A vaccine. You need this vaccine if you have a specific risk factor for hepatitis A virus infection or simply want to be protected from this disease. The vaccine is usually given in 2 doses, 6 months apart.
Varicella (chicken pox) vaccine. If you are an adult born in the U.S. in 1980 or later, and have never had chickenpox or the vaccine, you should be vaccinated with this 2-dose series.
Zoster (shingles vaccine). After you get chickenpox, the virus remains inactive in certain nerves in the body. Shingles occurs after the virus becomes active again in these nerves years later.
Shingles may develop in any age group, but you are more likely to develop the condition if:
- You are older than 60
- You had chickenpox before age 1
- Your immune system is weakened by medications or disease such as diabetes.