Annual cycle of care Keep your diabetes in check with your cycle of care checklist. Diabetes is a condition that changes over time. What works for you one day, may not the next. That’s why it’s important to have an annual cycle of care in place to monitor your diabetes. What is an annual cycle of care? An annual cycle of care is a checklist designed to help you and your healthcare team keep your diabetes on track and reduce the risk of diabetes-related complications. Remember, regular visits with your diabetes healthcare team will allow you to identify any problems early and put the best management plans and treatment in place. Health checks and reviews As part of your daily diabetes management, there are some checks that you can undertake yourself – like your blood glucose levels. Your healthcare team can support you with other health tests such as teeth, feet, kidneys and eye tests as part of your annual cycle of care. Blood glucose levels Self-monitoring your blood glucose levels (BGLs) can help you make healthy lifestyle choices. Your diabetes health professional will help you decide your BGL target and how often you need to test. HbA1c (Glycosylated haemoglobin) The HbA1c shows the overall picture of your blood glucose management. It’s the average of your BGLs over the past 10 to 12 weeks. Target: It’s ideal to maintain 7% (53 mmol/mol) or lower. When to check: One to four times a year (every three months). Blood pressure A blood pressure check measures the pressure at which your heart pumps blood around the body. Having a high blood pressure (BP) can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and kidney disease. Target: For someone with diabetes, the target BP is less than 130/80 When to check: Regularly (at least every doctor’s visit), and treated as required. Cholesterol (blood fats-lipids) Cholesterol is a type of fat in the blood. Having high cholesterol in the blood increases your risk of heart disease and stroke. There are different types of cholesterol with various target levels for a person with diabetes: Low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) are also called bad cholesterol and can narrow or block your blood vessels.Target: Below 2 mmol/L High-density lipoproteins (HDLs) are also called good cholesterol and helps remove deposits from your blood vessels and stops them from getting blocked.Target: 1 mmol/L or above Triglycerides are another type of fat in your blood.Target: Less than 2 mmol/L When to check: Every 12 months with a blood test. Eye health Diabetes can cause complications in the eyes that can lead to blindness if left unchecked. Complications can include cataracts, glaucoma and retinopathy. Eye damage can be prevented by keeping your BGLs, HbA1c and BP within the recommended target levels. When to check: Every one to two years by an optometrist or if you notice any change in your vision. Foot care Diabetes can damage the nerves and blood vessels in your feet. What to watch out for: Changes to the skin Calluses Foot ulcers Infections Nerve damage (neuropathy) When to check: Self-check every day, and by a podiatrist at least once a year. Kidney health Increased risk of damage to kidneys (nephropathy) can happen over time. An early sign of kidney problems can be detected through a urine test for microalbumin. When to check: At least once a year. Setting your healthcare targets in your annual cycle of care Visit your dentist at least once a year to look after your teeth and gums. Review your diet and healthy eating habits. Work with your team to maintain your ideal weight. Make it a goal not to smoke. Limit your alcohol consumption (two or less standard drinks a day for men, one for women). Do a physical activity at least 30 minutes most days a week. Undertake a medication review with your diabetes educator, GP or endocrinologist. Go for an insulin review. Get screened for Coeliac disease, especially for type 1 diabetes. Get advice for any concerns about your sexual health. Keep your mental health and emotional wellbeing in check. Don’t forget that your healthcare team is available to support you. Working together in partnership can help make your diabetes daily management easier and less overwhelming. More information about your annual cycle of care We offer a range of resources to support you in developing the most appropriate annual cycle of care to manage your condition. Annual cycle of care fact sheet This fact sheet helps you and your healthcare team manage your condition. Annual cycle of care fact sheet What is the annual cycle of care? – video In this video, a diabetes educator details the importance of keeping an annual cycle of care and the role of your healthcare team to help reduce diabetes complications: Annual cycle of care podcast The annual cycle of care podcast series contains ten podcasts dedicated to different aspects of the annual cycle of care. This podcast is also available in Dari, Farsi and Tamil.