Type 1 Complications; do you have them?

I hope this doesn’t come off as morbid, because I’m not! I just started reading John Walsh’s fourth edition of Pumping Insulin. On page 14 he lists the “Complication Risk in Type 1 Diabetes.” As I read down the list, I discovered that I have had some that I didn’t realize were related to the “Big D.” for instance, Trigger Finger (DuPuytren’s).

Here’s the list:
Eyes
Cataract
Cataract removal
Retinopathy
any degree
proliferative retinopathy
lazer treatment
blindness
Frozen Shoulder
Trigger Finger (DuPuytren’s)
Kidneys
End Stage renal disease
Nerves
Gastroparesis symptoms
Peripheral neuropathy
Autonomic neuropathy
Bladder dysfunction
Impotence
Diarrhea

The encouraging thing was the report that the lower your A1c’s the lower your risk for these complications. So which do you have or have had? What are you doing for each specifically?

Hi, I don’t have any…yet?? I have been type 1 for 16yrs. I think I just got the good genes from somewhere…except for the diabetes. My eyes are getting blurry,but no damage. Just aging they say. My mother (also type 1) didnt’t get any real severe damage until the last 5 years of her life…she passed away at 72yrs. My A1c’s havent always been good, right now I am at 7.0 been lower and higher…my menapusal hormones are really giving me a challenge with my bloodsugars. Oh well, one day at a time and I am thankful for every morning I wake up and I can see, walk,talk and breathe!!!

I am a diabetic T1 x40yrs. I have polyneuropathies, bilateral carpal tunnel, frozen shoulder, trigger fingers and DuPuytren’s syndrome which is different than trigger finger., It is not widely known that we are predisposed to connective tissue disorders–connective tissue disorders won’t kill us, but it can be debilitating. There is a lot of inflammation and the doctors don’t know what causes the inflammation. I have had cortisone shots for the trigger fingers, but it came back so I had surgery for that and the Dupuytren’s which are nodules that form on the palm of the hand. I am still recovering from the surgery as the swelling continues even after 5 months. I also had bi-lateral carpal tunnel surgery–it worked really well. FYI your ulnar nerve can swell too and you can also develop the diabetic prayer (where you cannot put your hands together hence the name), and muscle weakness. Your sugar levels may or may not have an effect on some of these conditions. Some are evident after having the desease a long time.

I began having the problems without knowing that I was predisposed due to the D until my hand surgeon mentioned it. Then, I researched it.

Hope this helps.

I have had the D for over 20 years and I can say all of my complications are from very poor control over the course of a decade. Here is my list: Depression, bilateral carpal tunnel, the beginings of peripheral neuropathy (no pain but the nerve tests said that I had lost about 2-5% of the nerve function), myositis, sarcoidosis, and hashimoto’s hypothyroidism (these last 3 are all autoimmune disorders like type 1 diabetes).

I take meds for depression, myositis, sarcoidosis, and hashimoto’s and I am virtually symptom free. My conditions have stopped getting worse since I got control over my D. I got a pump and I test like crazy now to get a good a1c. I am starting a CGMS this week as the tight control had made me more prone to lows and I have hypo unawareness. The big thing for me was starting to eat better in conjunction with testing more. I try to eat healthy and that had made a HUGE difference.

I have had cataract surgery to both eyes …left one APRIL ! , 2008 ( April Fool’s, ha, ha !!) …NOT due to diabetes …aging process I was told …and I told them : I am tooooo young .
I was diagnosed with osteoporosis in 2007 ; this being due to type 1 diabetes .Added Vit D 1000 u to my daily plan , besides medication for osteo …have not had a cold since .
None of the side effects you are refering to …type 1 for over 26 years.
I do have John’s book( s) in our home library .
Thanks Gordie ( my Hubby’s name too :slight_smile: ) …stay well everyone !!

For to tell you, I take a cocktail for the neuropathies: neurontin and motrin for nerve pain and inflammation; reglan for autonomic neuropathy.

For the thyroid condition (caused by the autoimmune system), I take levothroid.
I was also diagnosed with cataracts. However, for a person that has had diabetes for 40 yrs, according to my doctor, my eyes are doing fairly well–she was surprised. My kidneys are doing well and I take Coozar to protect them. ACE inhibitors are very important because they protect the kidneys.

What about complications that arise despite tight control?

Anything related to aging is related to diabetes.
Relationships are everywhere.
Let's take it a step further.
Data on complications are based on how people have been treated in the past.
Data in 2040 will be based on how we're treating diabetes now.

I'm 21 years old and have been T1 for just about 10 years now. I didn't have any complications until this year when I found out I have proliferative retinopathy. I do laser treatments and eye injections for it. I'll be the first to admit it's from poor control! Came to my senses about taking care of myself a little too late... the goal now is to stop anything other complications from happening :)

Some complications are very strongly linked to average bg levels or A1C. e.g. retinopathy, kidney disease.

Others are linked, but more loosely linked to average bg levels. e.g. heart disease.

Other risks get higher as average bg levels decline. e.g. risks for severe hypos, hypos requiring ER trips or the help of others or glucagon.

Some risks are entirely unrelated to bg control and the risk comes "for free" with T1 diabetes no matter what the bg levels. e.g. increased risk for hypothyroidism (also an autoimmune thing).

Leo , I am not sure , if your comment " Anything related to aging is related to diabetes " you are referring to what I said about my cataract surgery ...both my Mom, years ago , and my Hubby in 2006 have had cataract surgery ...neither had/has diabetes ...Hubby is presently in his 82 nd year ; last weeks fasting bloodtest showed 4.6 ( x 18 ) ...I think one can call it
" age related " :) ??

If I may, I think he means that diabetes ages a person prematurely. Any complication that tends to affect the elderly, cataracts to name one, can affect a person with diabetes at a much earlier age. That's my take on it, at least.

Gary Taubes mentions studies suggesting that diabetes causes premature aging in "Good Calories Bad Calories" although I'm still about 1/2 way through it so I'm not sure if the antidote is towards the end of the book?

Complications? Plenty of them here. My list includes frozen shoulders (both of them), bilateral carpal tunnel, kidney disease, among others; and am being monitored for glaucoma. In addition, I have had cardiovascular surgery, three strokes and have been treated for depression.

I can attribute some of this to bad control, some to heredity and some to stubbornness. I am thankful for good healthcare by a caring team, my pump and better eating/exercise habits, and the advice of a damn good therapist.

There is a person in my life who is heading down the same road. I certainly there is common sense and help for her.

Yes, Diabetic Retinopathy. Just had Vitrectomy one month ago. No other complications.

50 years--some good and some not good control stages:
Retinopathy in both eyes, controlled by laser.
And cataracts.
Thyroid--easily controlled with Syntroid.
Ace Inhibitor for kidneys, of course.
I have developed bone spurs in my hands, which my PC says are related to D. But on the palm side, so I don;t worry about them.

I don't know why i read the internet, it just reminds me of all these things that will happen to me. And people always say "tight control is best" etc. well it seems no matter what people get some sort of complications. =[

Actually, there are still some questions as to whether for type 1s "tight" control is really the answer to NO complications. For example, there is still a poor understanding regarding the effect that the loss of other hormones (leptin, c-peptide, and amylin) have on micro- and macro-vascular health. It is possible that some type 1s, even with the best of control, will still develop complications due to the lacking of these other hormones. In addition, many of us with type 1 have pretty wide swings in our BGs. I know that I personally can have days where I go from about 40 to the upper 300s without much effort. It's frustrating, and these swings are thought to cause damage. However, my A1C may still be ok because the A1C is just an average. Lately, my endo has been having me pay closer to attention to these wide fluctuations because she's concerned about them, even though I'm now maintaining an A1C in the 7s.

I have had Type 1 for over 35 years. The only thing that I have experienced on your list is Frozen Shoulder in both shoulders. Both shoulders have resolved and I have 90-95% function in both shoulders. My control in the last 10 years has been pretty good (not perfect, by any means). I was diagnosed long before home BG monitoring, so I had years of what would now be considered horrible control.

I do believe that there are three factors that have helped me tremendously. The first is exercise. The second is the intangible factor of genes and possible minute insulin production as suggested by the Joslin 50 year Medalist Studies. And the third is luck. It seems that some people get complications and others don’t. I seem to be in the lucky group.

On the other hand, I have other autoimmune issues which I assume you’d call co-morbitities. They’re unrelated to BG levels. I have hypothyroidism and a type of inflammatory arthritis that is autoimmune.

I do believe that all of us have a better chance at good health with good BG levels. However, I am the poster child for daily BG spikes that seem to have not hurt my overall health. Fortunately I have many hours per day with good BG levels.

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i hope to be like you when i'm older! ps what are you sugar spikes like?