If your loved one has diabetes, these are 4 things you need to do!

Apr 24, 2024

"For diabetic patients, preventing complications is crucial for controlling the condition. Relevant studies have shown that regular monitoring of relevant indicators and efforts to control blood glucose levels can significantly reduce the risk of diabetes complications. However, many individuals with diabetes do not pay enough attention to chronic complications and only seek medical treatment when symptoms appear. By that time, the condition may already be severe, missing the optimal treatment window and increasing the difficulty of later treatments.

In fact, regular check-ups for diabetic individuals can help detect abnormal indicators early, which is meaningful for delaying the onset of complications. Today, we will introduce several items and intervals that need frequent monitoring for preventing complications, hoping to be helpful to everyone.

Chronic Complications Prevention Check-up Items:

Fundus examination: Fundus examination is an important method to assess diseases related to the vitreous body, retina, choroid, and optic nerve. Diabetic eye complications are mainly related to the duration of the disease and blood glucose status. Common complications include retinopathy, cataracts, and retinal hemorrhage, which can lead to vision loss and even blindness. It is recommended to have this examination every 6 months.

Diabetic nephropathy: Kidney disease is a very common complication in diabetes. Approximately 30-40% of type 1 diabetes patients and around 20% of type 2 diabetes patients develop diabetic nephropathy. The gold standard for early diagnosis of diabetic nephropathy is a urinary albumin excretion rate of ≥20 mcg/min or 30 mg/24 hours. It is recommended to have a urinary albumin test every 6 months.

Lipid profile: Diabetes often coexists with lipid metabolism disorders. Through lipid profile testing, patients with decreased high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and increased cholesterol, triglycerides, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol can be identified. These patients should take lipid-lowering medications under the guidance of a doctor. It is recommended to have a lipid profile test every 3-6 months.

Oral examination: Among oral diseases in diabetic individuals, periodontal disease is the most common, with an incidence rate of around 30%. Chronic gingivitis can lead to alveolar bone atrophy, resulting in loose teeth or tooth loss over time. Therefore, oral examination should not be neglected. It is recommended to have an oral examination every 6 to 12 months.

Urinalysis: Urinalysis can provide multiple indicators such as urine glucose, ketones, protein, and white blood cells. These indicators can indirectly reflect blood glucose levels and help identify conditions such as diabetic ketoacidosis at an early stage. Additionally, it can also detect diabetic nephropathy at an earlier stage. It is recommended to have a urinalysis every 3-6 months.

Peripheral vascular disease examination: High blood glucose levels can damage blood vessels throughout the body, and the lower limbs are the most commonly affected. Symptoms may include cold feet, foot pain, intermittent claudication, increased susceptibility to skin infections, non-healing ulcers, and, in severe cases, gangrene leading to amputation (toes). Hospital color Doppler ultrasound examination can help detect peripheral vascular diseases in the early stages. It is recommended for patients to have this examination every 6 to 12 months.

Neuropathy examination: Diabetic neuropathy symptoms can vary widely and are not easily detected, making treatment challenging. Approximately 60-70% of individuals with diabetes will experience varying degrees of nerve damage symptoms, such as reduced sensation, numbness, tingling in the limbs, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, urinary retention, erectile dysfunction, decreased sexual function, hearing loss, swallowing difficulties, etc.

The diagnosis of diabetic neuropathy is based on nerve conduction studies, including nerve conduction velocity measurement and electromyography. It is recommended to have a neuropathy examination every 6 to 12 months."
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