Fact: Even If a Child with Diabetes Feels Healthy, She's Still at Risk for Serious Complications
Keeping blood-sugar levels normal throughout life is the key to preventing a variety of problems. Left uncorrected, diabetes can lead to heart attack, cirrhosis of the liver, blindness, amputation of limbs affected by poor circulation, and kidney failure that requires lifelong dialysis. Fortunately, there's time to prevent these dire conditions while children are still young: It takes about five to 10 years for poorly controlled blood sugar to produce any major complications, according to experts. Serious complications are not inevitable, says Dr. Abuzzahab. "They're all related to poor blood-sugar control, and most kids can decrease their risk with the right treatment."