Type 1 diabetes needs to be monitored. This includes:

Self-monitoring

Blood glucose should be tested at least 4 times per day (before breakfast, lunch, dinner, and bedtime). Some people may need to check it more often.

It can be monitored using a home kit. It includes a special device to obtain a drop of blood. The drop of blood is applied to a test strip used with a glucometer device. The device reads the test strip and displays the test result. This information can be shared with a person's doctor to help manage care.

Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c)

HbA1c is a blood test that shows a person's average blood glucose level over 2 to 3 months.

Test results are given in percentages:

  • Less than 7%:—good diabetes control
  • 7% to 8%—moderate control
  • 8% to 9%—fair control
  • Greater than or equal to 9%—poor control

Ketone Testing

A ketone test checks the urine or blood for ketones. The body breaks down fat when it cannot use glucose for energy. Ketones are a by-product of this process. Large amounts of ketones can lead to a deadly problem called diabetic ketoacidosis. It needs to be treated right away.

A ketone test has strips that are passed through the stream of urine or placed it in a cup of urine. The strip is compared against a color chart that shows whether ketones are in the urine. Ketones in the blood can be found using special glucose meters.

Regular Checkups

Type 1 diabetes affects many parts of the body. A person will need to see a doctor who treats people with diabetes. Other doctors may be also be needed. Examples include doctors who treat diabetes, eyes, and feet. Other care may be needed from a nurse and a dietitian.

REFERENCES:

American Diabetes Association. Standards of medical care in diabetes-2019. Diabetes Care. 2019. Jan; 42 (Suppl 1):S1-193.

Diabetes mellitus type 1. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:https://www.dynamed.com/condition/diabetes-mellitus-type-1-34. Updated June 28, 2019. Accessed November 22, 2019.

Type 1 diabetes. American Diabetes Association website. Available at: https://www.diabetes.org/diabetes/type-1. Accessed November 22, 2019.

Last reviewed September 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board James P. Cornell, MD  Last Updated: 12/8/2020