''This study clearly demonstrates and documents that there can be a large number of people who can go a very, very long time with type 1 diabetes and not suffer with dire complications," says researcher George L. King, MD, chief scientific officer at Joslin Diabetes Center and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.
The study is published in Diabetes Care.
Explaining why is not simple, however. In the study, being free or nearly free of complications didn't correlate directly with control of blood sugar, King says.
He isn't discounting the importance of blood sugar control. It's shown to reduce the risk of complications. However, his study suggests other mechanisms may help explain the protection from complications he found in some.
''Overall, about 20% do not have any eye, kidney, or nerve disease," King tells WebMD.
Role of Proteins
King's team evaluated blood sugar levels in the participants. On average, blood sugar levels were under good control. The average hemoglobin A1c test, a reflection of blood sugar levels over the past three months or so, was 7.3%. Experts often recommend those with diabetes keep A1c at 7% or below.
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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.
Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.
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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