Type 1 Diabetes: Children Living With the Disease
Exams and Tests
A child with type 1 diabetes needs to visit his or her doctor at least every 3 to 6 months. During these visits, the doctor reviews your child's blood sugar level records and asks about any problems you and your child may have. Your child's blood pressure is checked, and growth and development is evaluated. A doctor will examine your child for signs of infections, especially at injection sites. Your child will usually have the following tests at office visits:
- A hemoglobin A1c or similar test (glycosylated hemoglobin or Reference glycohemoglobin) to check your child's blood sugar control over the previous 2 to 3 months
- A Reference blood glucose test. This is a good time to check the accuracy of your child's blood sugar meter.
If your child has a family history of high cholesterol or heart disease and is over 2 years old, your child's doctor will do a Reference cholesterol (LDL and HDL) test when type 1 diabetes is diagnosed or as soon as blood sugars are under control. If there is no family history of high cholesterol, your child will have a cholesterol test at puberty. If the LDL cholesterol is less than 100 mg/dL (2.60 mmol/L) and there is no family history of high cholesterol, the doctor will repeat this test every 5 years.
Diabetes increases your child's risk for dental problems. Experts suggest dental checkups every 6 months.
Children's nutritional needs change as they grow and develop. See a Reference registered dietitian Opens New Window at least once a year to review your child's meal plan.
5 years after diagnosis
Your child will have an initial dilated eye exam (Reference ophthalmoscopy) by an Reference ophthalmologist Opens New Window or an Reference optometrist Opens New Window when your child is at least 10 years old and has had diabetes for 3 to 5 years. This eye exam checks for signs of Reference diabetic retinopathy Opens New Window and Reference glaucoma Opens New Window. Thereafter, your child should have an eye exam every year. If your child is at low risk for vision problems, your doctor may consider follow-up exams less often. Your child should also begin having annual Reference microalbumin urine tests. This test helps detect Reference diabetic nephropathy Opens New Window.
Your child may have a test for thyroid antibodies when type 1 diabetes is diagnosed. Also, a Reference thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) test should be done every 1 to 2 years. This test checks for thyroid problems, which are common among people who have type 1 diabetes.
Other tests include:
- Annual foot exam starting at puberty.
- Routine screening for depression after your child is 10 years old.
- Reference Eating disorder Opens New Window evaluation if your child shows signs of an eating problem.
- Reference Celiac disease Opens New Window testing when type 1 diabetes is diagnosed and then if your child is not growing or gaining weight as much as expected.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference March 7, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Reference Stephen LaFranchi, MD - Pediatrics, Pediatric Endocrinology