My birthday is this month. A few years ago, I decided to give myself the best birthday present: an annual physical exam. Since I always remember my birthday (whether I want to or not), I always remember to visit my doctor and get my check up, including tests.

My birthday gift to you is to send you this caring advice so you can celebrate many more birthdays to come.

Having diabetes means you need to be more organized about your check-ups and preventive care throughout the year, not just the standard once a year check-up. Although you may have diabetes, that might not be your only health concern and you may need certain additional health screenings.

  • I know that I get confused keeping track of all the check-ups I require throughout the year, so I try to simplify my life and schedule them around my birthday.
  • Start your A1C test on the month of your birthday and follow your M.D.’s order for recurring tests – either every 3 months or every 6 months (your 3-month average).
  • A micro albumin test should be done yearly and remember to have this done on your birthday. This is a simple urine test that checks the health of your kidneys.
  • If you do not see a podiatrist on a regular basis, then I recommend you do it annually, near your birthday. People with diabetes are more susceptible to foot complications.
  • See your dentist near your birthday and then again every 6 months. People with diabetes are twice as likely to have gum disease.
  • A yearly eye exam is necessary for checking for retinopathy, glaucoma, or cataracts. Retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in people with diabetes.
  • A yearly lipid profile should be done around your birthday including a LDL, HDL and triglycerides. This could reduce your risk of developing heart disease.
Roberta Kleinman

Roberta Kleinman

Roberta Kleinman, RN, M. Ed., CDE, is a registered nurse and certified diabetes educator. She grew up in Long Island, NY. Her nursing training was done at the University of Vermont where she received a B.S. R.N. Robbie obtained her Master of Education degree, with a specialty in exercise physiology, from Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia.

She is a member of the American Diabetes Association as well as the South Florida Association of Diabetes Educators. She worked with the education department of NBMC to help educate the hospital's in-patient nurses about diabetes. She practices a healthy lifestyle and has worked as a personal fitness trainer in the past.

She was one of the initiators of the North Broward Diabetes Center (NBMC) which started in 1990 and was one of the first American Diabetes Association (ADA) certified programs in Broward County, Florida for nearly two decades. Robbie has educated patients to care for themselves and has counseled them on healthy eating, heart disease, high lipids, use of glucometers, insulin and many other aspects of diabetes care. The NBMC Diabetes Center received the Valor Award from the American Diabetes Center for excellent care to their patients. Robbie has volunteered over the years as leader of many diabetes support groups.
Roberta Kleinman

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