I was diagnosed type 1 in August, probably heard this type of story over and over. I guess everybody starts looking at complications right away. Are my feet going to fall off? Am I going to die much earlier than most? I guess I have been so worried about having my blood sugar high all the time that I end up walking around with low blood sugar, feel bad eat candy to reach normal level again, repeat.

I usually keep my blood sugar highest 6-7 but typically 5 down to the 4 range. How high is too high and how long before it does damage? I mean if we go like 1 hour at 10 mmol./l is it doing damage? When people say they have high blood sugar is that like weeks at a time and how does that happen if we are taking insulin? Just eating the wrong food? Now I feel scared of food and try to avoid carbs all together especially if I'm going over to a friends house to eat and all they are serving is white bread sandwiches chips and soda. Do you just say screw it, take a shot and go for it? Am I being overly paranoid? Thanks for any feed back.

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It's complicated.

Some websites you read might try to convince you that a single reading of 6.1 mmol (140) means that damage has been done and all hope is lost.

But the more long-lasting studies, over decades, like the DCCT and UKPDS, show that's it not single bg readings that are correlated to diabetes complications, but it's the long term (decades) running average as measured by A1C's:

Of course the long term average is made up of millions of individual bg readings so it doesn't help any to have it high for extended periods. My point is, it's not the end of the world to have a couple numbers out of whack, don't let it get you down, you'll have millions of more swings in the batting cage :-)

Your last question... insulin is no magic bullet. It's a tool, one of many. Taking insulin by no means results in all your bg's being OK. And yeah, if your choice is between saying "screw it" or getting depressed because some website told you that a single bg number means the end of the world... "screw it" will be the better choice. Of course there are other choices too, like using the bg number to adjust your insulin doses or any of the other difficult controls we have.

I know there are people who also say that large surges in blood sugar can harm you. But I am also big in balance in your life. It is easy to become fearful and obsessed over all this blood sugar stuff. It is sometimes good to remind yourself that if you keep your blood sugar at 5 mmol/L all day except it goes to 10 mmol/L for an hour after all three meals, your average blood sugar is still 5.6 mmol/L. Only about a 10% rise in your average blood sugar.

I think many of us have to go through a period of coming to terms with our mortality and the risk of complications. Over time, you should feel less anxious about this. We all have risks in our lives. But you have to balance things, if you spend every waking minute worried about your blood sugar, never doing anything in life that you enjoy, then what is the point? So have some birthday cake on your birthday. And over time, you will just learn to make prudent choices, at times enjoying a treat, but mostly just taking care of yourself.

I might print this out and put it beside my desk ;)

nice graph! so i assume the left is years? or percentage of risk?

I just plagiarized that graph off the web. I think the left is probably risk relative to an A1C of 6.0 over a baseline of a decade or so. (A decade is the timescale over which DCCT and UKPDS have good data; extension studies to the DCCT go longer.)

Risk continues to decline as A1C goes below 6.0 but very few diabetics have A1C's under 6.0 so there's not a lot of data to sample there and the curves you can see are flattening out already there. Not perfectly flat though.

Some websites you read might try to convince you that a single reading of 6.1 mmol (140) means that damage has been done and all hope is lost.

Minor correction, but 6.1 mmol/L is equivalent to 110 mg/dl. A blood sugar of 7.8 mmol/L is equivalent to 140 mg/dl. (To convert between mmol/L and mg/dl, multiply or divide by 18.)

Unfortunately everything you have mentioned is true for some of us and false for others. There are many individuals that live with BG in the 250+ (14.0+) range all of their lives without a single complication but for others just talking about high BG will cause complications. Most of us probably fall somewhere  between these two examples. I do the best I can and have learned not to sweat the little things...like a few high blood sugars every month, or a piece of my Moms pie on Christmas day.

 The Bete's has not killed me yet, My Doctor says anything can happen there are plenty of landmines out there you can step on besides diabetes....I have always  looked for something more exciting like skydiving, my motorcycle, or even a jealous husband would do in a pinch...;-)

I guess my point is, don't stick your head in the sand. If there is something you would like to do, "do it!"...and remember for somethings you will probably need a helmet.

thanks for the response, you think that a person should worry less in the beginning ? I mean some people have been living with this since they were like 6 years old. I'm 35 and was just diagnosed in August. How many years after being diagnosed should a person really start being super careful?

I think you should do the best you can from day one...I also think there needs to be a summer camp for LADA's...;-)

 I was diagnosed at 34 was a single parent with two small children, There where many, many, days my "life" was out of control, was I worried about my BG...HaHa

When I was diagnosed there was no information highway...no one had even herd of Al Gore...;-) They just looked at me like a horse with a broken leg and gave me a sack full of syringes a bottle of insulin and said pay on your way out. The nurse had tears in her eyes and I though to myself...this is probably not good .

And yet...rumors of your life ending that day were greatly exaggerated.

;0)

I don't know about "worry" but every year spent with high bg's is measurably increasing someones risks with complications. So getting thing under control early on is certainly the right way to go.

Otherwise it becomes like balancing a big government's budget... one year you overspend a little, next year overspend more, you start raiding trust funds and taking loans from other countries... and in a couple years you have Greece.

In that analogy it's OK to have a couple bg's that are high but you should have the majority of them not being high, and you have to start as early as possible.

I think folks here have already given you some good advice. It's ok to relax a bit. As long as you're testing and correcting highs, being high for a short period of time isn't going to kill you. Keep in mind that there are many of us who have been living with this disease for decades, since we were small children and long before there were fast-acting analogue insulins, multiple-times-per-day testing, and pumps. Heck, there are folks on here who have had T1 long enough to remember a time before disposable syringes, human insulin, and meters!

Definitely make wise choices. It's ok to treat yourself now and again, but you don't want to make a habit out of it.

Running low all the time is really not good for you. If you keep doing this, you will slowly begin to be unable to recognize the low BG symptoms. Those low symptoms are a good thing because they alert you that you need to do something. If you run low all the time, you will eventually develop hypoglycemia unawareness.

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