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Impact of sugar levels out of range; diabetes complications

Discussion in 'Young People/Adults' started by olivem1612, Jan 22, 2018.

  1. olivem1612

    olivem1612 Type 1 · Newbie

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    Hey all, I've been type 1 for 18 years and luckily did not develop complications yet. The first few years when I became a type 1 diabetic as a child, 18 years ago, I had the worst readings (Hba1c around 10). But the past 5 to 10 years, my readings have been excellent (Hba1c 5) and I feel great. However, occasionally, there is the exception of when I catch the flu, even if my Hba1c is OK, I spend a few weeks with almost impossible to control insulin levels and spend few days at 20 mmol/l :/ ....

    I want to ask if past experiences, being more than 10 years ago, put me at an increased risk of developing complications in the future? Does the diabetec body learn to heal itself over periods of good sugar levels or is the approach towards complications more along the lines of wear-and-tear damage?
  2. Grant_Vicat

    Grant_Vicat Don't have diabetes · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @olivem1612
    A difficult question to answer! Readings of 10 obviously are an average, but what range of readings does that cover in 3 months? From my own experience I went for 21 years without knowing anything about HbA1c but do know that at the end of that I had a reading of 26. I had almost certainly assaulted my body for most of those years. At the age of 15 I was passing protein in urine. At the age of 21 I had the riot act read to me by an ophthalmologist who specialised in retinopathy at King's College Hospital and thanks to him, my deterioration slowed down appreciably, so much so that kidneys lasted without dialysis until August 2013, when I underwent a kidney/pancreas transplant at Addenbrooke'a Hospital. The undoubted foundation of this was my poor control from 1959-1979. Sice the transplant I have not had an insulin fix, but ironically suffered from Charcot foot only 2 months after having the first functioning islets since 1959. Hence the difficulty in answering your question. However, if you show no sign of complications now, after 18 years and only 5 of variable control, I would imagine you stand an infinitely better chance - let's hope. Of course we are all different, genetically, chemically and metabolically. But your attitude is very much on your side. Very good luck!
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  3. Mel dCP

    Mel dCP Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I’m in a similar boat to the OP. Diagnosed 20 years ago at the age of 24, and have had variable control, with my HbA1c often in double figures. I achieved impeccable control when I was pregnant with my son, and then it all went to pot again. He’s almost 15 now.

    I’ve developed some neuropathy in my feet - pain and numbness (how do numb bits hurt???) and some “slight changes due to diabetes but not yet requiring treatment” at my last retinopathy check 14 month ago. So far my kidneys, liver and heart are fine.

    I’ve been lucky enough to get Libre on prescription for three months because my last HbA1c was 10.8% (94 in new money). If I can bring it down by 2.5 percentage points (to about 8.3% or 67) it’ll have proved itself s workimg for me and I’ll have it long term. Since having it, I’ve noticed the feeling coming back in my feet, and at my annual optician eye test last weekend, she couldn’t find any signs of retinopathy or damage in my eyes.

    So for me, getting better control of my sugars (my current average is about 6mmol according to Libre) has nipped these complications in the bud and they appear to be healing. Of course, I have no idea what’s down the road for me, but I feel I’ve been given a golden opportunity to take control of the diabetes rather than it having control over me. I’m actually quite looking forward to the next HbA1c lie detector test :cool:
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