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From Bullhead City, Arizona, USA:

What are some of the risks that could occur when a child does not take care of their diabetes properly? What could happen to the child? Could other diseases come to be? Could it even kill?


You should read one of two teaching manuals, Diabetes for Dummies by Rubin or Insulin-Dependent Diabetes in Children, Adolescents and Adults by Ragnar Hanas, M.D. Both are available on or other bookstores. Your local bookstore could also order these books if they do not already have them. Both have excellent chapters about long term complications of poorly treated diabetes. The brief list for acute problems of uncared-for diabetes includes diabetic ketoacidosis and death from dehydration and acidosis, if untreated/unrecognized, as well as severe episodes of hypoglycemia (loss of consciousness, seizures and death). All are preventable with reasonable care provided by the patient or parents.

Long term complications of diabetes are mostly related to high sugar damage to the blood vessels or nerves: microangiopathy and macroangiopathy. Microangiopathy includes hemorrhage or occlusion of the retina, eye blood vessels that can lead to blindness, similar damage to the blood vessels of the kidney leading to hypertension and/or kidney failure, damage to the blood vessels supplying the nerves or direct damage to the nerves themselves leading to severe pain, numbness, weakness, paralysis or the stomach and intestinal system leading to nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation, bladder distension and urinary retention. Macroangiopathy includes damage to larger blood vessels such as those that supply blood to the legs (amputation), brain (stroke) and heart (heart attack). This is a bad list. If you have a relative who does not care for themselves, then you should talk with your health care providers about what else might be offered, psychological counseling, anti-depressants, etc. For young children or teenagers, parents should assume direct responsibility for doing blood glucose testing and administering insulin.


Original posting 30 Jan 2005
Posted to Complications


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:10:00
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