Annual tests for diabetics: make sure your list is complete

The routine tests for diabetics what all should they assess?

  • First and foremost: the level of blood sugar control is the most important group of tests.
  • Tests which detect the common complications of diabetes such as diabetic kidney disease are also important
  • Diabetics have a high risk of CVD or heart disease leading to heart attack or stroke, so tests assessing these risks are important.
  • But you also need clinical tests and assessments by your doctor, which are commonly missed . For example foot examination, fundoscopy etc.
  • In addition, diabetics need all the age and gender specific tests for cancer screening and common nutritional deficiencies. But most ‘Diabetic health check up packages’ end up ignoring them

Complete list of health assessment tests needed for diabetics

Your physical assessment

  • Age (in years)
  • Gender
  • Weight (in Kilograms)
  • Height
  • Waist circumference (in cms)
  • Blood pressure

Blood tests and urine tests for diabetics

For control of blood sugar

  • HbA1c lab test (%)
  • Blood sugar  (Fasting and PP for the largest meal of the day)
Blood lipid profile
  • Total cholesterol (mg/dL)
  • LDL cholesterol (mg/dL)
  • Non HDL cholesterol (mg/dL)
  • HDL cholesterol (mg/dL)
  • Triglycerides (mg/dL)
For nutritional deficiencies

  • CBE: Complete Blood Examination (especially haemoglobin and haematocrit)
  • Vitamin D levels (ng/dL)
  • Vitamin B12 levels (pg/dL)

Thyroid function status -TSH

  • SGOT, HBsAg for liver function

Tests for diabetes complications

  • Tests for kidney function in diabetes
    • Serum Creatinine with eGFR
    • Serum electrolytes and uric acid (if you also have high BP)
    • Urine R/M (routine and microscopy)
    • Urine for microalbuminuria
  • Tests and evaluation for CVD
    • 12 lead ECG
    • Symptom check list for CVD
  • Eye check up for diabetic retinopathy including fundoscopy
  • Screening for diabetic neuropathy (foot examination): need to see your doctor
  •  Screening for OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnoea)

If you are obese and snore loudly on most night, or your spouse has noticed that you stop breathing for a few seconds in sleep, discuss with your doctor

Cancer screening

Breast cancer screening 

  • Women aged >20 years or more, should do BSE (Breast Self Examination), once every month (after your menses), check out the links

How to do SBE video

  • Breast examination by a doctor and Mammography : check out the guidelines for cancer screening in Indians
Cervical cancer screening for women

  • Sexually active women >21 years of age should get a Pap smear done, for more information : check out: cancer screening for Indians
Cancers of oral cavityAll people who consume tobacco in anyway and/or drink alcohol should do oral and  self-examination once every month. Check out :

In addition: 

You should have regular dental examination (ideally every six months) which should include an examination for oral cancer by your dentist

Colon CancerMen and Women over 50 years of age who do not having any family history of colon cancer should get screening for colorectal cancer done, the FOBT (Fecal Occult Blood Test0 is the most commonly employed test for this
Prostate cancer Starting at age 50, men should talk to a doctor about the pros and cons of screening for prostate cancer by PSA, since the benefits are not clearly established

Men whose father or brother got prostate cancer before age 65, should have this talk with a doctor at age 45

Bone health risk assessment

By IOF One-minute test

The scores help your doctor decide whether to ask for a DXA scan for Bone Mineral Density of not

Assessment for emotional well being

PHQ 2 and GAD 2 questionnaire


Take a questionnaire based assessment to find out if you have  nicotine dependence, if so, you made need to consider drugs for smoking cessation, follow the link below: documents/Tobacco/PDF/Fagerstrom_test.ashx

Also read ‘How to ensure correct treatment of diabetes’

CHECK OUT: Our references for diabetes mellitus

Our references for preventive health checks