by EBSCO Medical Review Board

Type 1 diabetes needs to be watched. This includes:

Glucose Checks

Blood glucose should be tested at least 4 times per day. It should be tested before:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Bedtime
  • Some people may need to check it more often. It can be checked with a home kit. The kit has a special device to obtain a drop of blood. The drop of blood is applied to a test strip. A glucometer device reads the test strip and displays the test result. This information can be shared with a person's doctor to help manage care.

    Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c)

    HbA1c is a blood test that shows a person's average blood glucose level over 2 to 3 months. This test cannot be done at home.

    Test results are given in percentages:

    • Less than 7%:—good diabetes control
    • 7% to 8%—moderate control
    • 8% to 9%—fair control
    • Greater than or equal to 9%—poor control

    Ketone Testing

    A ketone test checks the urine or blood for ketones. The body breaks down fat when it cannot use glucose for energy. Ketones are a by-product of this process. Large amounts of ketones can lead to a deadly problem called diabetic ketoacidosis. It needs to be treated right away.

    A ketone test has strips that are passed through the stream of urine or placed in a cup of urine. The strip is compared against a color chart that shows whether ketones are in the urine. Ketones in the blood can be tested for at home with meters designed for them.

    Regular Checkups

    Type 1 diabetes affects many parts of the body. A person will need to see a doctor who treats people with diabetes. Other doctors may be also be needed. Examples include doctors who treat the eyes and the feet. Other care may be needed from a nurse and a dietitian.


    American Diabetes Association. Standards of medical care in diabetes—2019. Diabetes Care, 2019; 42 (Suppl 1): S1-193.

    Diabetes mellitus type 1. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Accessed May 5, 2022.

    Type 1 diabetes. American Diabetes Association website. Available at: Accessed May 5, 2022.

    Revision Information

    • Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board James P. Cornell, MD
    • Review Date: 03/2022
    • Update Date: 05/05/2022