Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Out of range blood sugars and possible complications

(NaBloPoMo Day 24)
One thing I know *I* as the mom of a T1 child thinks about a lot is the possible complications that can go along with Diabetes after "out of range" blood sugars.

Now don't get me wrong, it is NORMAL for blood sugars to go out of range. It is HARD to keep them in range 100% of the time. This brings the worry.

I don't worry as much if it is just one or two readings out of range. But when The Superhero ends up HIGH or LOW for HOURS on end, I WORRY. The internal damage being done with these out of range numbers SCARES me.


From the Mayo Clinic...

Type 1 diabetes can affect many major organs in your body, including your heart, blood vessels, nerves, eyes and kidneys. Keeping your blood sugar level close to normal most of the time can dramatically reduce the risk of many complications.

Long-term complications of type 1 diabetes develop gradually, over years. The earlier you develop diabetes — and the less controlled your blood sugar — the higher the risk of complications. Eventually, diabetes complications may be disabling or even life-threatening.

  • Heart and blood vessel disease. Diabetes dramatically increases your risk of various cardiovascular problems, including coronary artery disease with chest pain (angina), heart attack, stroke, narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis) and high blood pressure. In fact, about 65 percent of people who have diabetes die of some type of heart or blood vessel disease, according to the American Heart Association.
  • Nerve damage (neuropathy). Excess sugar can injure the walls of the tiny blood vessels (capillaries) that nourish your nerves, especially in the legs. This can cause tingling, numbness, burning or pain that usually begins at the tips of the toes or fingers and gradually spreads upward. Poorly controlled blood sugar could cause you to eventually lose all sense of feeling in the affected limbs. Damage to the nerves that control digestion can cause problems with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation. For men, erectile dysfunction may be an issue.
  • Kidney damage (nephropathy). The kidneys contain millions of tiny blood vessel clusters that filter waste from your blood. Diabetes can damage this delicate filtering system. Severe damage can lead to kidney failure or irreversible end-stage kidney disease, requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant.
  • Eye damage. Diabetes can damage the blood vessels of the retina (diabetic retinopathy), potentially leading to blindness. Diabetes also increases the risk of other serious vision conditions, such as cataracts and glaucoma.
  • Foot damage. Nerve damage in the feet or poor blood flow to the feet increases the risk of various foot complications. Left untreated, cuts and blisters can become serious infections. Severe damage might require toe, foot or even leg amputation.
  • Skin and mouth conditions. Diabetes may leave you more susceptible to skin problems, including bacterial and fungal infections. Gum infections also may be a concern, especially if you have a history of poor dental hygiene.
  • Osteoporosis. Diabetes may lead to lower than normal bone mineral density, increasing your risk of osteoporosis.
  • Pregnancy complications. High blood sugar levels can be dangerous for both the mother and the baby. The risk of miscarriage, stillbirth and birth defects are increased when diabetes isn't well controlled. For the mother, diabetes increases the risk of diabetic ketoacidosis, diabetic eye problems (retinopathy), pregnancy-induced high blood pressure and preeclampsia.
  • Hearing problems. Hearing impairments occur more often in people with diabetes.

Diabetes Fact #24: Complications from out of range blood sugars with T1 Diabetics are very real and very worrisome to those living with the disease (and their parents/loved ones).

Diabetes Fact #23:The only thing constant with Diabetes, is that nothing stays the same.

Diabetes Fact #22:Diabetes is a family disease and affects every person in the family, near and far.

Diabetes Fact #21:Having Type 1 Diabetes means finger pokes 8-10 times per day (or more) and YES that means using BLOOD to do this.

Diabetes Fact #20:Despite always injecting the proper amount of insulin, people with type 1 Diabetes face many other factors that can adversely affect efforts to tightly control blood sugar levels. These factors include stress, hormonal changes, periods of growth, physical activity, medications, illness/infection, fatigue, and EVERYTHING they do or don't do every.single.day.

Diabetes Fact #19: T1 Diabetes is a 24/7/365 disease. It NEVER sleeps and neither do the parents of the children who have it (or the T1 people themselves).

Diabetes Fact #18: T1 Diabetes can happen to ANYONE, it is not necessarily hereditary. This means that yes, it CAN happen to YOU or to someone YOU know.

Diabetes Fact #17: People with T1 or T2 Diabetes (and their caregivers) are more likely to experience depression than their peers without Diabetes.

Diabetes Fact #16: The out of pocket cost of managing T1 Diabetes is EXPENSIVE.

Diabetes Fact #15: Having Type 1 and getting an illness (especially a tummy bug) CAN be dangerous.

Diabetes Fact #14: Without insulin, a person with T1 Diabetes would DIE within ONE week.

Diabetes Fact #13: Type 1 Diabetes usually strikes children, adolescents, and young adults, but it CAN be diagnosed in adults as well.

Diabetes Fact #12: It is important for families of Diabetic children or the people with Diabetes themselves to genuinely try to understand what we go through, to learn about Diabetes along with us, and to support us through encouraging comments.

Diabetes Fact #11: Diabetes is ALL consuming. It is NOT our life, but it is a HUGE part of it.

Diabetes Fact #10: Parents of children with Diabetes HATE when people say "I could NEVER do it!" when referring to the management of their kid's disease. In reality, YOU could, and WOULD do it if you HAD to. We probably had the same thoughts as you and now look at us, doing it 24/7.

Diabetes Fact #9: The term "Juvenile Diabetes" is outdated. We now call it "T1 Diabetes" or "Insulin Dependent Diabetes". People with this type of Diabetes will NEVER outgrow it. EVER. They will have this relentless disease until a CURE is found.

Diabetes Fact #8: A cure would be great, but a long life without complications is a close second for people with T1 Diabetes.






*Disclaimer: I am a mom of a T1 Diabetic child. I am NOT a doctor. I just play one in real life. Please do not take anything in this post or any other post on this blog as medical advice. If you have questions or concerns of your own, please seek advice from your doctor.*

4 comments:

Crystall Young said...

This is a great post!! You are such a great writer........

Lorraine of "This is Caleb..." said...

Great job Tracy - keep 'em coming!

Alexis of Justices Misbehaving Pancreas said...

i was just discusssing this. The battle we fight. Lows pose a danger now. We could lose our kids at any moment to one. But long term highs cause complications later. Finding balance isnt easy. Your posts are so educating for the non d community. Awesome job!

Heather said...

I am just loving all those Facts this month! This one especially because people ask me why I can't just let her blood sugar "go" once in a while...this is why!

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