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July 24, 2002


Question from Washington, USA:

What follow-up lab tests that should be done on someone with type 2 diabetes? How often should they be done?


Lab testing varies from individual to individual based on your personal health concerns. For example, some diabetes medicines (insulin sensitizers or thiazolidinediones) require testing of liver function every two months for the first year you take the medicine. Other tests may be done more frequently because they are elevated.

Generally speaking, you should have a hemoglobin A1c every three months, and you should have your LDL, HDL, triglycerides, and urine microalbumin checked at least once a year, along with a dilated eye examination.

I strongly recommend you call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-diabetes (1-800-342-2383) and get a copy of the personal care wallet card to keep records of diabetes checks recommended every visit and every year. Single copies of the wallet card are available free in English or Spanish.


[Editor’s comment: I tried to find a copy of the ADA’s card on-line at the ADA website, but it doesn’t seem to be there. They do have discussions of other medical identification products, however, as does this website, at Medical Identification Products.