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Question:

From Brooklyn, New York, USA:

My wife is 28 years old and has Type 1 diabetes since she was 5. She was very lax in her control of her blood sugars, not checking for many years. The only thing she was good about was seeing a retina specialist yearly. She never had any problems with her eyes.

Just recently, her lax ways caught up with her and she had to go to the hospital with ketoacidosis. Luckily, she came through it okay, but now she was scared. She started taking better care of herself and she brought her high blood sugars down and is getting better control. But in her last checkup with the retina specialist, she had a problem with leakage and required laser treatment in both eyes. Six weeks later, the problem was still there and another laser treatment was done.

We just read that someone under no control, with high blood sugars, who gets themselves under control quickly, will do so to the detriment of their eyes! Is there a basis in fact for this? If so, please give us your take on this problem. My wife is very anxious about this problem and we would greatly appreciate your thoughts on this matter.

Answer:

Several studies now have shown that a radical improvement in blood sugar control can temporarily cause worsening, or the new development of, eye problems. In the long run, however, radical improvement in blood sugar control seems to decrease the risk of further eye disease.

I would advise working closely with an endocrinologist to maximize her blood sugar control and continue to see the eye doctor frequently.

TGL

Original posting 18 Jan 97

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:52
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