January 23, 2007
Question from New Delhi, India:
My 26-year-old boyfriend has had type 1 diabetes for five years. He has been on insulin ever since he was diagnosed. He watches his diet and monitors his blood sugars regularly. His A1c results for the last five years have varied between 4% and 7%. He is in a high stress job. Does a person still develop complications even if he takes insulin, eats well, exercises, etc.? Approximately how long after diagnosis does one develop complications?
Complications from diabetes are related to the duration of disease and the level of control over that time. Because he has had good control, he is less likely to develop complications. The possibility of complications of diabetes increases with time. They are uncommon at duration of less than five years. They begin to peak between 10 to 15 years in those patients that develop them. I would continue to stress the positive. He has good control. Tell him to keep up the good work.