The first diabetes examination that you will experience is the one which diagnoses the diabetes. A glucose test will be administered, but doctors will also take in account a physical examination, presence or absence of symptoms, and medical history. This is because people sometimes have transient problems or take medications that cause them to have elevated glucose levels.

There are two types of tests that are used to indicate the presence of blood sugar problems. One measures the glucose levels in the blood during an overnight fast. The other tests the body’s ability to handle excess sugar after drinking a high glucose drink.


Physical Examination in Diabetes


A physical diabetes examination may be given in order to evaluate your overall health. It is important for this examination to take place because it is designed to find complications that may occur in diabetes. The exam will pay particularly close attention to your eyes, blood vessels, heart, lungs, nerves, abdomen, and feet.

During this physical diabetes examination your health professional will assess whether you are chronically ill, obese, or fatigued. A body mass index reading of 30 or higher indicates obesity. People of Asian Indian or Chinese decent will be considered obese at a lower BMI. If you are found to be obese this is a risk factor for heart disease.

Whether you are found to be obese or not, your doctor will continue to check for evidence of high blood pressure and heart disease. Listening to your heart with a stethoscope can give indications of coronary artery disease, an enlarged heart, irregular heartbeat, or any other chances of heart failure. Your physician may also ask if you have had any chest pain, the type, and the location.

Next, the doctor will use the stethoscope to evaluate carotid arteries in your neck. Doing this and checking your pulse will indicate any kind of blood flow impairment that you might have. Blood flow impairment suggests the presence of plaque in your blood vessels. Your physician will also:

  • Feel your abdomen for any tenderness or enlarged organs.
  • Evaluate your sense of touch, sense of pain, reflexes, and muscle strength.
  • Examine your feet looking for any sign of swelling, deformity, ulcers, or infection.
  • Examine the back of your eyes for indications of retinopathy, cataracts, and glaucoma (, 2011).


Foot Examination for Diabetes


In the beginning of a food diabetes examination, your doctor will take into account the history of any foot problems that you have had. The things to be considered are:

  • History of any micro or macro-vascular complications or amputations
  • History of any foot ulcers
  • Any current foot ulcers
  • Changes in feet since the last exam
  • Any shoe problems
  • Blood or discharge in socks
  • A history of smoking
  • Your last A1C test


These will indicate whether you are at low or high risk of having further foot problems. Next, your physician will look at the condition of the skin, hair, and toenails. The skin will be checked for swelling and dryness, lesions, fissure, calluses, redness, and ulcers. The doctor will then check for any ingrown or deformed nails as well as any signs of a fungal infection. Musculoskeletal deformities will also be examined.

Next, your physician will begin a sensory exam, during which you will not be allowed to watch. Five sites per foot will be tested. The filament will be pressed to the skin so that it buckles at one of two random times. The total duration of the approach, skin contact, and departure should not be more than 1 to 2 seconds.

After the foot examination, the inside of your shoes will be examined. The physician will inspect the type, fit, and whether corrective footwear or inserts are needed. Finally, the physician will explain how to keep your skin soft and smooth, how to check your feet every day, and how to smooth corns and calluses gently (Asbury, MD, EMT-P, 2008).


Related articles: Diabetic Eye Disease | Coping with Diabetes | Fungal Infection and Diabetes |