Your Diabetes Care Schedule

There’s a lot to do to manage diabetes, from daily care you do yourself to lab tests and visits with your health care team.

Use this list to stay on schedule with self-checks, exams, and appointments throughout the year.

Got questions about everyday diabetes care? Ask your doctor about a referral for diabetes self-management education and support (DSMES) services. If you already have a referral, find a diabetes care and education specialistexternal icon.

Every Day
  • Blood sugar checks
    Check up to several times a day as directed by your doctor. Keep a record of your numbers and share with your health care team during your next visit.
  • Foot check
    Use a mirror if you can’t see the bottom of your feet or ask a family member for help. Let your doctor know immediately if you have any cuts, redness, swelling, sores, blisters, corns, calluses, or other change to the skin or nails.
  • Diabetes medicines
    Take the amount prescribed by your doctor, even when you feel good.
  • Physical activity
    Get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate activity, such as brisk walking or riding a bike.
  • Healthy eating
    Eat healthy foods that give you the nutrition you need and help your blood sugar stay in your target range.
Every 3 Months
  • A1C test
    If your treatment has changed or if you’re having trouble meeting your blood sugar goals, have this test every 3 months.
  • Doctor visit
    If you’re having trouble meeting your treatment goals, visit your doctor every 3 months. Your blood pressure and weight will be checked, and your self-care plan and medicines will be reviewed. Ask your doctor to check your feet if you’ve ever had diabetes-related foot problems.
Every 6 Months
  • Dental exam
    Get your teeth and gums cleaned at least once a year (more often if your doctor recommends), and let your dentist know that you have diabetes.
  • A1C test
    If you’re meeting your treatment and blood sugar goals, have this test every 6 months.
  • Doctor visit
    If you’re meeting your treatment goals, visit your doctor every 6 months. Your blood pressure and weight will be checked, and your self-care plan and medicines will be reviewed. Ask your doctor to check your feet if you’ve ever had diabetes-related foot problems.
Every Year
  • Flu shot
  • Kidney tests
  • Cholesterol test
  • Dilated eye exam
    You may need this exam more often if you have diabetes-related eye problems.
  • Hearing check
  • Complete foot check
    You may need this foot check more often if you have ever had diabetes-related foot problems.
Just Once
  • Pneumonia shot
    Get a pneumonia shot as an adult before you’re 65 (you’ll need two more doses when you’re 65 or older).
  • Hepatitis B shot
    Get a hepatitis B shot if you’re 60 or younger and haven’t had the shot before. Talk to your doctor about getting the shot if you’re over 60.
As Needed
  • Mental health check
    Let your doctor know right away if you’re feeling sad or hopeless so you can get help.
  • New symptoms or health problems
    If you notice new health problems or if existing problems are getting worse, call your doctor immediately so you can be evaluated.
Page last reviewed: May 25, 2021