Diabetes is a significant and serious chronic ailment that can lead to a number of medical complications including heart disease, stroke, kidney problems, impaired vision, poor circulation, and more. A balanced healthy lifestyle and compliance with modern medical care can make a real difference in reducing the risk of complications. Part of this involves having regular medical check-ups to identify any issues early so that further complications can be avoided. So what check-ups are needed? This is, of course, quite variable between different people/patients but this list might serve as a rough-guide for most diabetics…

Once a year

  • General Medical (General Medical Practitioner or Physician):
    • Physical examination
    • Kidney Function Tests (U&E)
    • Full Blood Count (FBC)
    • C-reactive protein (CRP)
    • Fasting Lipogram (cholesterol, low density lipoprotein, high density lipoprotein, triglycerides)
    • Stress Electrocardiogram (stress ECG)
    • Further referrals as appropriate
  • Ophthalmologist – will screen for diabetic eye disease (retinopathy), eyesight, cataracts, glaucoma
  • Podiatrist – will screen feet for any early neuropathy (neurological disease) or foot ulcers, corns, calluses etc and will direct in proper foot care

Every six months:

  • Physical examination
  • Blood pressure
  • HbA1c (glycosylated haemoglobin) – this simple laboratory blood test is perhaps the best measure of long-term blood sugar control, and diabetic “wellbeing”.
  • Blood glucose
  • Urine dipstix for protein
  • Urine dipstix for microalbumin


  • Carotid Doppler (ultrasound of neck blood vessels)
  • Renal ultrasound (ultrasound to assess kidneys)
  • Specialist referral as and if appropriate

This list will NOT be appropriate for everyone of course, but is perhaps best used as a starting point for a discussion with your own doctor as you develop a personal diabetes check-up plan for yourself.