Hello there i am doing a project in school about type 1 diabetes. I do have type one diabetes but i have to write a brochure on the life of the disease as thou i was a doctor telling newly diagnosed diabetic although i do have diabetes my teacher wanted me to ask others for help. I need to now some of the complications.
I’ve had T1D for 62 years and have experienced some of the complications associated with it.
- Injuries suffered during insulin reactions. Especially in the years before keeping track of blood-sugar levels was made easy by continuous glucose monitors (CGM) like the Dexcom, I’d experience insulin reactions that were (at least) incapacitating or (worse) injurious. I once had a seizure during my sleep which led to several injuries, including badly biting my tongue. I have also driven a car during a reaction with the same skill as a drunk. Only by the grace of God did I make it home without wrecking my car, damaging someone else’s property, or hurting/killing someone.
- This isn’t typically considered a complication, but it’s a reality if you have T1D: T1Ds unable to get a commercial pilot’s license or a commercial driver’s licence (CDL). I assume that’s because the dangers of driving or flying while experiencing a low blood-sugar episode are akin to driving/flying while drunk. I guess that’d be considered a limitation rather than a complication; but if a person with T1D is ever employed in a job that requires that he/she operate equipment, they’d better be constantly aware of their blood-glucose levels (The best way to maintain that awareness is with a CGM.).
- Diabetic retinopathy: I was in my mid-twenties and had had diabetes for over twenty years when I noticed blood (inside my eye) obscuring my vision. I didn’t know what the problem was but was fortunate to have a friend who’d experienced similar symptoms (because of a detached retina) who insisted I see an ophthalmologist immediately. Thankfully, I was given treatments (laser therapy) that saved my vision, and I gained an understanding of how important blood-sugar control is to eye health. Because of the damage done to my retinas by the retinopathy itself and the “preventive damage” done by the laser treatments, I have large blind spots in my vision, floaters are always part of what I see (It’s like looking through an aquarium filled with translucent seaweed.), and reading is a challenge.
- Diabetic neuropathy: As I’ve aged, I’ve experienced a variety of symptoms in the onset of neuropathy: numbness, tingling, and pain in my hands and forearms; a loss of sensation in my feet and hands; the pointer fingers, middle fingers, and thumbs of both hands are now always asleep. Buttoning my shirt is a a real test.
- Diabetic nephropathy: A diabetes educator alerted me to the importance of maintaining good control by explaining that complications like retinopathy and neuropathy can be seen and felt, but that problems with the kidneys are far more difficult to detect. She told a “motivational” story of a young T1D man who appeared to be healthy but, because of poor blood-sugar control, suffered irreversible kidney damage and had to live with regular dialysis for the remainder of his life. I’m happy to say that in its early stages, diabetic nephropathy is reversible, and once my doctor detected it in my lab results, I’ve succeeded in keeping my kidneys healthy.
After writing all this, I feel like I’ve been describing someone on his last leg - just waiting for the final collapse. But thanks to superb medical help, the mind-blowing advances in medical technology, a wife who supports and encourages me to take care of myself physically, psychologically, and spiritually, and a good God who looks out for folks with diabetes, I’m doing very well. I’ve outlived the expectations of those prophets of doom who’ve warned that diabetes is a curse and a sure sign that you’ll die young. I’m still employed, work at a major shipping company doing physically-demanding tasks, and generally enjoy life.
My daughter is T1D and also suffers from insulin resistance. She takes vitamin D to help lower the insulin resistance. Because of her issue she takes alot more insulin than your avg person. Also she was only diagnosed 2 years ago and she is dealing with depression over being a diabetic.
hi @Mjchristy, um just a thought, when t1’s get high resistance they can benefit from actual T2 resistance reducing drugs like metformin for one. might be something to consider with an endo. depression is really very common with diabetes I hope your daughter has resources available. this can be from just getting used to the idea of a chronic illness that will never go away or it could be clinical depression. hope you guys are okay. please reach out if you need resources.