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Type 1 Diabetes

(continued)

Consequences of Uncontrolled Type 1 Diabetes

When type 1 diabetes isn't well controlled, a number of serious or life-threatening problems may develop, including:

  • Retinopathy. This eye problem occurs in about 80% of adults who have had type 1 diabetes for more than 15 years. Diabetic retinopathy in type 1 diabetes is extremely rare before puberty no matter how long someone may have had the disease. Medical conditions such as good control of sugars, management of high blood pressure, and regulation of blood fats like cholesterol and triglycerides are important to prevent retinopathy. Fortunately, the vision loss can be prevented in most people with the condition.
  • Kidney damage. About 20% to 30% of people with type 1 diabetes develop kidney damage, a condition called nephropathy. The risk for kidney disease increases over time and becomes evident 15 to 25 years after the onset of the disease. This complication carries significant risk of serious illness -- such as kidney failure and heart disease.
  • Poor blood circulation and nerve damage. Damage to nerves and hardening of the arteries leads to decreased sensation and poor blood circulation in the feet. This can lead to increased risk of injury and decreased ability to heal open sores and wounds, which in turn significantly raises the risk of amputation. Damage to nerves may also lead to digestive problems such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on May 07, 2012
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If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

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However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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