Am I still at risk if my BS is under control?

By Shelbo09 Latest Reply 2012-04-23 06:30:27 -0500
Started 2012-04-22 18:06:11 -0500

It's been a little over a month now since I got my T2 diagnosis.
I'm handling it pretty well and my blood sugars are staying around the 80's-low 100's.

Now here's my concerns..
All I keep reading about diabetes is how it can triple your risk of heart disease and possibly make you go blind. These are the scariest things I've read multiple times during my research..

But my question is, if my blood sugar is under control and I'm living a healthy lifestyle now, do I still stand against those risks JUST because I have diabetes?
They say blindness can occur due to the high amount of sugar in the blood and it causing damage to the vessels…but if my blood sugar is in normal range, am I still at risk for that?
And the same goes for heart disease. I've read that mainly diabetics are at bigger risk for heart disease because usually being diagnosed with Type 2 means you lived an unhealthy lifestyle and are "normally" obese or overweight. Obviously obese people are at greater risks for heart disease than your regular person.

So I guess what I'm trying to ask is that, just because I have diabetes, am I still more prone to these things EVEN if I have my disease under control with a healthy lifestyle?

My doctor says that I'm doing no damage to my body as long as my blood sugars are under 140. And obviously I'm eating healthier.

So…is that true?

3 replies

jigsaw 2012-04-22 19:35:51 -0500 Report

After 18 years with diabetes, I feel good, and I don't have any complications. Along the way I have asked the same question that you are asking here. First off, I think any answer has to be tempered by the fact that different peoples bodies can handle different amounts of abuse before the damage becomes apparent.

I was at a class for diabetes mgmt run by two diabetes educators and a dietician about 2 years ago. They work very closely with my endocrinologist at the same location. I asked them about the risks and potential complications of diabetes. They said the same thing as your doctor! They said if you keep your blood glucose under 140, you are not at risk. One of them gave me (with no uncertain terms) a very definite no you are not at risk.

I have heard and read various answers to this same question. I have yet to see any data that would say with no uncertain terms that 140 is the safety net. Personally, I'm not sure, and I really don't think there is enough conclusive evidence available to make an exact and blanketed determination. For this reason, I will continue to do the best that I can to manage my diabetes and enjoy life as I have so far!

Shelbo09 2012-04-22 19:51:01 -0500 Report

Well it helps to know that your doctors hinted around the same conclusion as mine. That 140 seems to be the "safety net" as you called it.

Honestly, diabetes (type 2 that is) is just an insulin deficiency. It could get worse and become an insulin dependency. But for most type 2's, they're pancreas is still working, it just needs extra help that's all.

So from my logic, if this is really the only thing going wrong in your body, and you're taking care of everything else..why should you be at risk for anything else like blindness, heart attacks, and strokes? All the things research and doctors scare us with?

What causes blindness is the high number of blood sugar for a LONG period of time constantly destroying your blood vessels. This WON'T happen if you have your BS under control and at normal levels like any other non-diabetic!

Where heart disease and stroke come into play is bad diet and lack of exercise. This is for any person lacking a good diet. Diabetes or not. You will have heart problems because of DIET and a bad lifestyle, NOT because of diabetes itself. This just so happens to be a common occurrence with Type 2 diabetics…

I think most doctors and research always say that Type 2 diabetics are at risk for blah blah blah, because MOST diabetics find out very late in their life and have already done a significant amount of damage to their bodies. And for doing that, yes, you may risk those horrible things.

But for someone like me, who is 21, not overweight, and has her BS under control..I feel like I'm honestly going to be fine as long as I keep doing what I'm doing and what my doctors are telling me. I don't see why anyone should be at risk for these scary things if they have their BS at normal levels.

Like I stated before, if the ONLY thing wrong in your body when it comes to the actual disease of diabetes, is insulin deficiency, THAT in itself won't kill you. How you live your life and what you put in your mouth is what is going to kill you quicker.

(and I am ONLY speaking on behalf of type 2, I completely understand that type 1 is a whole different story.)

jigsaw 2012-04-23 06:30:27 -0500 Report

I know that you and many people with diabetes can have a long and healthy life. By keeping informed (DC connect can help) and learning how to take care of your self, you will be taking great strides towards this goal! I personally know a few people that are elderly with diabetes and doing fine. Ask many questions so you can gain and learn from some of the experienced members. There are quite a few here that can be extremely helpful.

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