Diabetes clinic visits for type 1 diabetes
You will come to the Diabetes Clinic, in the Pediatric Specialty Clinic on Level 2 inside UI Hospitals & Clinics, every 3 to 4 months.
Before your visit
Make sure your blood sugar log is up-to-date. You can use programs to download your meter at home. Your diabetes nurses can give you information on how to do it.
- Your blood sugar log
- All of your blood sugar meters
- Your insulin (if you will be eating a meal away from home)
- Quick-acting carbohydrate in case of a low blood sugar
- A list of questions or concerns you may have
During your visit
- Get a finger stick for a blood test called A1c. The A1c test result tells your average blood sugar over the past 3 to 4 months.
- Get a blood pressure check to make sure it is in the normal range.
- Have your height and weight checked. Growing well is an important sign of good diabetes control.
You will see your pediatric endocrinologist or pediatric nurse practitioner. This person is a specialist who cares for children and teens with diabetes.
This specialist will:
- Do an exam of your body, including looking at your fingertips and areas where you get shots.
- Look at your blood sugar log and meter download with you and talk about patterns in your blood sugars.
- Talk with you about your A1c results.
- Give advice on changing insulin doses or other changes that may be needed.
- Listen to your concerns and answer any questions you may have.
You can also schedule an appointment with other diabetes specialists on the same day as your visit with the doctor or nurse practitioner. Please plan ahead when scheduling this appointment so we are sure we have the time reserved to see you.
- A certified diabetes educator (CDE). This person is either a registered nurse or registered dietitian who specializes in taking care of children and teens with diabetes.
- Our CDEs teach according to standards set by the American Diabetes Association (ADA).
- The UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital Pediatric Diabetes Education Program is certified by the ADA.
- You may schedule time with the pediatric diabetes nurse CDE any time you and your family have education needs.
- Once a year, you and your family will be scheduled to meet with a dietitian for 30 minutes because your child’s nutrition needs change as they grow.
- You can also schedule time with the pediatric social worker. This person can help with any insurance, financial, travel, or coping/emotional needs.
Lab tests done during your visit are:
- Doing an A1c gives your doctors and nurses a view of what is happening over time, like a movie. A blood sugar check, like you do at home, only gives “1 picture” or a snapshot. You will get a finger poke A1c at each diabetes clinic visit, about every 3 to 4 months.
- Thyroid function tests
- People with type 1 diabetes have a higher chance of getting hypothyroidism (under-active thyroid gland). Blood is taken from a vein in the arm. The test tells whether your thyroid gland is working normally. This test is drawn every year, but may be more often.
- Lipid panel
- People with diabetes have a higher chance of getting heart disease. Blood is taken from a vein in the arm. The test measures fats in your blood. This test is drawn every few years.
- Urine microalbumin
- People with diabetes have a higher chance of getting kidney disease. A urine sample is collected. The test measures protein in the urine and may help show early kidney disease. This test will be done 1 time a year after you have had diabetes for 5 years.
- Celiac disease tests
- People with type 1 diabetes have a higher chance of getting celiac disease. You develop a gluten sensitivity/allergy making it hard to digest food). Blood is taken from a vein in the arm. This test is the first step in helping decide if a person has it. This test is drawn each year.
Any time you need a blood test drawn from a vein you can get numbing cream or spray before the needle poke so you won’t feel pain.
After your visit
- Be given paperwork listing the changes or advice talked about during your visit
- Check out with a scheduler
- Make your next appointment