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Physical exam for diabetes complications


Physical exam for diabetes complications

The physical exam for complications from diabetes will evaluate your overall health, with particular attention to your eyes, blood vessels, heart, lungs, nerves, abdomen, and feet.

Your health professional will:

  • Assess whether you appear generally fatigued, chronically ill, or obese. Obesity is a major risk factor for heart disease. Your health professional will compare your weight and height to obtain a body mass index (BMI). A BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese. A BMI over 25 is considered overweight. If you are an Asian Indian or are Chinese, your health may be at risk with a lower BMI.1
  • Check for high blood pressure.
  • Use a stethoscope to listen to your heart for evidence of heart disease, such as:
  • Ask about the location, type, and duration of any chest pain.
  • Use a stethoscope to listen for any fluid in your lungs.
  • Use a stethoscope to evaluate the carotid arteries in your neck for evidence of blood flow impairment. He or she will also feel the pulses throughout your body for evidence of impaired blood flow. Diminished blood flow in any area of your body suggests plaque buildup in the blood vessels.
  • Listen to your abdominal sounds with a stethoscope and feel your abdomen for any tenderness or enlarged organs.
  • Evaluate your sense of touch and pain, reflexes, and muscular strength.
  • Examine your feet for evidence of swelling (edema), deformity, ulcers, or infection. Your health professional will also want you to examine your feet daily. If you have poor vision, ask someone else to examine your feet.
  • Examine the back of your eye (retina). This type of exam can detect only some of the potential complications. You will still need a more thorough exam after your eyes are dilated.

Eye exam

Eye exams are done by an ophthalmologist or optometrist. The doctor will examine:

References

Citations

  1. Razak F, et al. (2007). Defining obesity cut points in a multiethnic population. Circulation, 115(16): 2111–2118.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerCaroline S. Rhoads, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerMatthew I. Kim, MD - Endocrinology
Last RevisedAugust 8, 2009

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