October 11, 1999
Question from New York, New York, USA:
I am 26 year old with Type 1 for four months. I have been keeping tight control of my diabetes so far with my values rarely going above 150 two hours after meals. Assuming I can keep the same control for the rest of my life, what are the odds of developing severe complications?
PS: I have come to term with my having the disease, but I am really scared about the possible long term consequences.
Congratulations on your determination and desire to maintain tight control of your blood sugars. The long term complications of diabetes are much more evident in persons who neglect their diabetes over the long haul. It is a day to day decision to pay attention to your health.
Having said that, I cannot absolutely guarantee that you will never have a complication in your life — even with superb control. Diabetes is a tricky disease and can be impacted by so many variables: stress, illness, etc. Your part of the formula is to control the things you can control. This includes your diet, exercise, medical providers, and education on diabetes.
Just as there are people who never smoke and still get lung cancer, there are people who take really good care of themselves and find themselves with diabetes challenges. Life is not predictable. But you are on the right road for a positive outcome. Do not let diabetes run your life — live your life and live it well. That is good advice for all of us.