Lg Cwd
icon-nav-help
Need Help

Submit your question to our team of health care professionals.

icon-nav-current-questions
Current Question

See what's on the mind of the community right now.

icon-conf-speakers-at-a-glance
Meet the Team

Learn more about our world-renowned team.

icon-nav-archives
DTeam Archives

Review the entire archive according to the date it was posted.

icon-question-mark
August 6, 2001

Complications

Question from Tacoma, Washington, USA:

My 20 year old boyfriend has had type 1 diabetes since age three, and I know he has tried to take good care of his blood sugars (but I can't say for certain how well he has done for the entire 17 years). How much longer can he expect to live with no complications? Is there a general time span of diabetes complications, or is it entirely dependant on how well blood sugars are controlled? I am worried about his continuing health.

Answer:

I cannot tell you specifically how long your boyfriend will live with no complications. The best prediction of this would be a recent exam by a physician who can identify any complications that might already be present. Complications can begin 10 years after onset of the disease. There is some delay in onset of complications until after puberty.

If he is not under good control, it is never too late to begin. However, a person with poor blood sugar control is not in control of their life. Finally, to answer your last question, it is true that the risk of complications to the eyes, kidneys, and nerves is directly related to blood sugar control.

JTL