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From Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, USA:

My 20 year girlfriend has type 1 diabetes and uses an insulin pump. If her sugar levels remain under control, will she still develop the complications later on in life?


Good question. Being on an insulin pump can certainly help to maintain good blood glucose control, and that is a very strong determinant in preventing complications of diabetes. However, if there is a family history of complications from typeá1 diabetes or high blood pressure outside of type 1 diabetes, those two things can influence earlier development of complications. How long one has diabetes often determines complications since many times there are some signs of complications (often very mild) after a number of years (20-30) with diabetes.

As you well know, about the most we can do until there is an actual system to tie the pump up to a way to measure blood glucose levels (i.e., an artificial pancreas) is to follow the advice of the diabetes team and keep the blood glucoses as close to normal as possible. If her team says that your girlfriend needs medications be sure she takes them, and be a support for your girlfriend. Even with the pump, your girlfriend will have ups and downs in her blood glucoses, so having your support will help her to live life to the fullest.


Original posting 13 Jul 2001
Posted to Tight Control and Complications


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:24
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