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Tight Control of Diabetes 1 Wards Off Complications

Earlier this month, a study about Type 1 diabetics was published. It reminded me of why my wife and I are so dedicated to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and their fight for a cure.

My boys strive every day, on their own and with our help, to keep their blood sugar in a normal, healthy range. But even the most dedicated diabetics will experience highs and lows daily. Non-diabetics blood sugar stays in the healthy range without trying – somewhere from 90 to 120.

insulin checkKids like my sons must check their blood sugar regularly to monitor lows, which must be treated by ingesting carbs. They also check for high blood sugar. Anything above 140 has negative effects on the body. Everything is affected from eyes to nerves to kidneys. The only way to treat a high blood sugar is with the right dose of insulin. Too little, and your blood sugar will stay high. Too much, and you run the risk of going low again.

In the 1990s a landmark study proved what many had believed: Type 1 diabetics that kept good control of their blood sugar shortly after diagnosis could usually avoid the unfortunate complications that high blood sugar causes over time.

Every Type 1 diabetic knows that strict control of their blood sugar is essential. The new study in JAMA, the journal of the American Medical Association, is the first to show that intensive treatment and tight control prolongs the life of diabetics.

Unfortunately, another study published in the same issue of JAMA showed how difficult tight control is to achieve. Compared to the general population, average male diabetic life expectancy was reduced by 11 years and average female diabetic life expectancy reduced by 13 years.

My family and I will continue to support the cause of the JDRF. We’ll keep working towards not only a cure, but better access to education and advanced diabetic technologies. And hopefully, one day, we’ll have a cure for my kids and the kids and adults like them.

Note: You can read more about the study here.

-Andy Cash

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