Complications are most commonly linked to high blood glucose levels over a long period of time, so the best protection against developing anything is to keep your levels in range.
The most common complications can be classified broadly as:
- Damage to the large blood vessels of the heart, brain and legs (called macrovascular complications)
- Damage to the small blood vessels (microvascular complications) causing problems in the eyes, kidneys, feet and nerves
Once you have had type 1 for a couple of years you’re at risk of developing some subtle changes to the organs containing non-insulin requiring cells. Many type 1 related complications don’t show up until you’ve had the condition for many years, sometimes decades.
Complications usually develop silently and gradually over time, which means that regular check ups are a must to catch the signs early.
If these changes to your organs are found early, there are strategies to stop or delay the progression of type 1-related complications. For this reason, it is recommended that you are screened for complications two to five years after being diagnosed, then annually thereafter.