I felt that if I told people, then they would think it was my fault.... 
that if I had worked out harder or eaten better, I might have prevented it.
It is not fair to judge which diabetes condition is more serious, all types of diabetes have a serious impact on people’s health, it is a difficult condition which takes a lot of time, persistence and care to manage.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

How long can I expect to live?

After diabetes diagnosis, many type 1 and type 2 diabetics worry about their life expectancy. Death is never a pleasant subject but its human nature to want to know 'how long can I expect to live'.

There is no hard and fast answer to the question of ‘how long can I expect to live’ as a number of factors influence one’s life expectancy.    How soon diabetes was diagnosed, the progress of diabetic complications and whether one has other existing conditions will all contribute to one’s life expectancy - regardless of whether the person in question has type 1 or type 2 diabetes

How long can people with diabetes expect to live?

It is estimates that life expectancy of someone with type 2 diabetes is likely to be reduced, as a result of the condition, by up to 10 years. People with type 1 diabetes can expect their longevity to reduce by over 20 years.

What causes a shorter life expectancy in diabetics?
  Higher blood sugars over a period of time allow diabetic complications to set in, such as diabetic Retinopathy, kidney disease, and cardiovascular disease (heart disease).
Higher blood sugars can often be accompanied by associated conditions such as higher blood pressure and high cholesterol, which help to contribute to poor circulation and further the damage to organs such as the heart, kidneys, eyes and nerves in particular.  In some cases, short term complications such as Hyperpoglycemia and diabetic Ketoacidosis can also be fatal.

What can I do as a diabetic to help increase my life expectancy?

Maintaining good blood glucose control is a key way to prolong the length of your life.
Keeping blood sugars (bgl) within the recommended blood glucose level ranges will help to offset the likelihood of the complications and therefore increase life expectancy.

It is highly recommended to enjoy a healthy lifestyle, of a well balanced diet and regular activity, in order to help keep blood pressure and cholesterol at healthy levels and promote good blood circulation.

Why is life expectancy less for people with type 1 diabetes?

People with type 1 diabetes will, in the majority of cases, develop diabetes at a younger age than those with type 2 diabetes, therefore they will usually spend a longer period of their life living with the condition.
However, there is good news - people with type 1 diabetes have been known to live for as long as over 75 years with the condition.

Is type 2 diabetes less serious than type 1 diabetes?

Generally type 2 diabetes develops more slowly than type 1 diabetes. As a result, some people can be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes (and some other diabetes types) years after they first developed the condition. In some cases diabetes may only be diagnosed after noticing the signs of diabetic complications which is a serious position.

It is not fair to judge which condition is more serious, all types of diabetes have a serious impact on people’s health and it is a difficult chronic condition which takes a lot of time, persistence and care to manage.

courtesy of Diabetes UK May 2011 newsletter

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