Your Essential Diabetes Health Checks Guide

Managing Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes can feel overwhelming, but it needn’t be. You can stay healthy by regularly scheduling essential tests, knowing your numbers and learning what your results mean.


Use this guide and our Diabetes Care Checklist to help you meet your health goals.


Create Your Care Team

Managing diabetes requires teamwork and you are the most important member of your care team. Obtain medical advice and guidance by scheduling regular appointments with your doctor- they are an excellent resource and can assist with connecting you with additional support to keep you healthy. Your care team can include:

  • Primary Care Doctor
  • Diabetes Specialist (Endocrinologist)
  • Eye Specialist (Ophthalmologist)
  • Registered Dietitian
  • Podiatrist
  • Dentist
  • Mental Health Professional (Clinical Psychologist or Psychiatrist)
  • Pharmacist
  • Fitness Professional (Physical Therapist, Certified Trainer)
  • Support Persons such as friends, family, or co-workers
  • Nurse Case Manager (click here to learn more)


Know Your Numbers

QUARTERLY VISITS & TESTS (2 - 4 times a year)


What it shows


Hemoglobin A1c

Your A1C test measures your average blood sugar over the last 2 to 3 months. The higher your A1C level, the poorer your blood sugar control and the higher your risk for diabetes complications.

Less than 7%

Blood pressure


If you have high blood pressure, it means that your blood is pumping through your heart and blood vessels with too much force. The combination of uncontrolled high blood pressure and diabetes can significantly raise your risk for heart problems, kidney disease and eye damage.

Less than 130/80

Weight or body composition

Being overweight or obese increases a person’s risk of developing other chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and heart disease that can make diabetes care more complex. Talk with your doctor to determine your healthy weight goal.

BMI between 18.5 – 24.9,or waist measurement less than 40 inches for men, and less than 35 inches for women

Medication review

You and your doctor can determine which drugs are the best fit for you based on the type of diabetes you have and other health and lifestyle factors.

List of all medications, understand what they do, and how to take them


Dilated eye exam

A dilated eye exam by an eye care specialist (ophthalmologist) can help detect changes in the blood vessels and back portion of your eyes, called the retina. This is different from a routine eye exam for eyeglasses.

Once a year

Kidney function tests: (Urine Microalbumin, Creatinine)

Having high blood sugar or blood pressure over a long period can damage your kidneys, making them less able to filter waste and remove water from your body. Urine and blood tests can detect early signs of kidney disease.

Urine Microalbumin- <30mg

Creatinine- <1.2 mg/dL for women, <1.4mg/dL for men

Cholesterol & lipid tests

Measures the amount and type of fat in the blood. One type, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), is known as the “bad cholesterol”. High LDL levels can increase your risk of heart disease.

HDL- >60 mg/dL

LDL- 60-139 mg/dL

Triglycerides- <150 mg/dL


Foot exam / checks

Over time, diabetes can damage the nerves and blood vessels in the feet making it harder to notice when you have a foot or leg injury. An annual foot exam and visits with a podiatrist can help you monitor and prevent foot conditions that can result in serious complications.

At least once a year, more often as needed

Dental exam and cleaning (2 times a year)

Having diabetes increases your risk of developing gum disease and losing your teeth. Take excellent care of your teeth through regular brushing, flossing and dentist visits.

At least twice a year, more often as needed

Flu shot

People with diabetes are at higher risk of developing serious flu complications such as pneumonia, sinus and ear infections. Also, being sick may make controlling your blood sugar more challenging, especially if you experience a loss of appetite. An annual vaccination is recommended for protection against the flu.

Once a year


Bottom Line

Knowing what tests and services you need, how often and what they mean are important for successfully managing your diabetes. For more information about your health plan benefits that can help keep your overall wellbeing on track, sign in to your secure Argus Vantage account or contact our Thrive. Nurse at or 298-0888.

DISCLAIMER: The content in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.