What do complications really look like

Hey guys!
I am a type1d for more than 15 years now and had always had average to poor control, but lately, for the past year or so, it has been the most difficult period whith my a1c being a lot higher than safe. I am starting to turn things around though and I would like to know what do complications for cases like mine actually look like(so far I don’t think I have any but I worry about the future) , meaning for people who have had it difficult but didn’t completely overlook their health for decades.I am asking my doctor’s but nobody gives me an answer that will stop me from stressing about blindness or neuropathy etc. Will a great a1c control from now on keep me from having life altering complications,even having made bad BG decisions in the past?
Thanks a lot guys
Good luck to all!


I got t1d at age 16. I would say my control was very poor in my teen years and poor until age 30. I blame those years and myself for the complications I got especially over the last 5 years. You may have poor control for your entire life and not develop any major complications. As you’ve heard many times diabetes is different for everyone. My complications included sexual dysfunction at about age 40, retinopathy, cataracts in both eyes and angioplasty in my left leg at about age 50. At age 65 a kidney transplant, left leg amputation and who knows what’s to come. Hyperglycemia is very serious and I encourage you as you’re doing to take it seriously now.


With lower A1C, you will likely reduce chance potential complications…

I had poor control for 25+ years, using older insulins and urine testing. First A1C test was 15, and goal was to get to 9.

With BG testing (meters) and pump, I was able to get A1Cs down to 7s.

Now with integrated pump + cgm, I have A1C in non-diabetic range.

My complications have been stable, without further damage the past 25+ years.


It’s impossible to give an answer because we’re all so different.

With the tools we have for good control of diabetes these days, I wouldn’t be overly concerned about future complications. I was diagnosed at 10, basically ignored my diabetes for the next 20 years, ate what I wanted, gave the same insulin dose all the time, then got educated and paid attention to things. At age 60, some retinopathy (now stable) is the only complication I’ve had.

For you, keeping your A1c in range should be the goal, and Time in Range if you have a CGM. But also be aware that blood glucose improvement in a short period of time can bring on retinopathy, so maybe don’t try to get perfect overnight.


I’m in a similar boat, getting my $hit together now, but had probably a 7 year period where I was not on top of things (several DKA experiences, major depression, didn’t care attitude (even though I did care) because it seemed even when I tried things didn’t work). ANYHOW, I’d just look at things a little differently: 1. the BEST thing you can do regardless of what the future holds (which no one will be able to tell you) is to get your numbers in range as best you can. 2. the constant stressing about it, while not ideal, may help to keep you motivated to keep on track, so try to appreciate that fear, as it has a purpose?

Just my two cents. All the best.


I really appreciate everyone’s individual experiences on here. This is a very helpful thread to me. I get frustrated with doctors who are all doom and gloom…and I get equally frustrated with doctors who are super vague and don’t point to any data…so real experiences from those who have walked the path are immensely educational for me. Thanks!