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October 4, 2000

Daily Care

Question from Jefferson, Oregon, USA:

I have type 1 diabetes. Can you tell me where I can find a good list and explanation of the meanings and significance of the battery of blood tests that I regularly undergo? I understand the purpose of the A1c, but am a little unclear regarding the rest of the tests, their significance and comparative ranges.


Your doctor is really your best consultant. Concerning lab tests: each of us does something different, I expect. Usual tests would include thyroid tests: because of the risk of hypothyroidism; lipids to watch your cholesterol; and kidney function tests, because of the risk of high blood sugar to the kidneys. Each lab has slightly different normals for some tests, so you’ll have to ask about them.

This isn’t a complete list of tests, but the usual ones for type 1 as follow-up tests. Some others may be done to fit your specific needs.