Physical examination for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes

If your health professional suspects that you have prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, he or she will do a medical examination that includes:

  • Measuring your height and weight. For children and teens, height and weight will be compared with what is considered normal for their age groups.
  • Checking your blood pressure, once while you are standing and again while you are sitting.
  • Checking your thyroid gland. Your health professional will check this gland by feeling it while you swallow. Thyroid problems sometimes develop in people with diabetes.
  • Listening to your heart and lung sounds and checking your blood flow (pulse) in your arms, legs, and feet. Your health professional also may listen to the blood flow in your neck (carotid) arteries for evidence of plaque buildup from atherosclerosis.
  • Checking for a skin condition called acanthosis nigricans, which is associated with insulin resistance.
  • Checking for signs of Cushing's syndrome, a rare disorder that develops when the body is exposed to too much of the hormone cortisol. Some people with diabetes also have Cushing's syndrome. Symptoms include a large percentage of body fat in the abdominal area (central obesity), skin that appears very tan, and the appearance of reddish stretch marks on your skin.

Last Updated: August 12, 2008

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