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How Long Can You Live With Type 2 Diabetes

Its Never Too Early Or Too Late To Adopt A Healthy Lifestyle

Even if youve already been diagnosed with diabetes, you can still reduce your risk of cardiovascular events and early death, says Donner. The medications we use for diabetes are quite effective in lowering average blood sugar level, and we know that the lowering of blood sugar helps prevent long-term complications, he adds. Noncompliance for physicians is worrisome because that would tend to put patients at risk for having uncontrolled diabetes, he says.

At any stage of the disease, regardless of the number of complications that have already developed, people can still lessen the likelihood that the disease will progress with better blood sugar control, cholesterol control, blood pressure control all the risk factors for heart disease, says Donner.

RELATED: 8 Steps to Manage Both Diabetes and Heart Health

If youre under age 70 with type 2 diabetes risk factors, like a family history or being overweight, you should try to reduce your risk of developing diabetes, says Sattar. Change your diet to slow weight gain or lose weight, says Sattar. Small, sustainable lifestyle changes can make big differences in reducing the risks of diabetes, he says.

Causes Of Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin to function properly, or the body’s cells don’t react to insulin. This means glucose stays in the blood and isn’t used as fuel for energy.

Type 2 diabetes is often associated with obesity and tends to be diagnosed in older people. Due to increased obesity, type 2 diabetes is now being seen in young people and all ages. It’s far more common than type 1 diabetes.

Read about the causes and risk factors for type 2 diabetes

Monitoring Your Own Blood Glucose

If you have type 2 diabetes, as well as having your blood glucose level checked by a healthcare professional every two to six months, you may be advised to monitor your own blood glucose levels at home.

Even if you have a healthy diet and are taking tablets or using insulin therapy, exercise, illness and stress can affect your blood glucose levels.

Other factors that may affect your blood glucose levels include drinking alcohol, taking other medicines and, for women, hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle.

A blood glucose meter is a small device that measures the concentration of glucose in your blood. It can be useful for detecting high blood glucose or low blood glucose .

If blood glucose monitoring is recommended, you should be trained in how to use a blood glucose meter and what you should do if the reading is too high or too low.

Blood glucose meters aren’t currently available for free on the NHS but, in some cases, blood monitoring strips may be. Ask a member of your diabetes care team if you’re unsure.

Read about diabetic eye screening.

How Long Can You Live With Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes doesnt have to be a chronic condition. To the contrary, a type 2 diabetes diagnosis is the moment to begin changing habits and working towards a healthier and longer life. What you do every day can make a difference, says Dr. Christofides. Park at the far-end of the lot. Try taking the stairs. Consider buying only fresh foods and avoiding things in packages.

There is no one best type 2 diabetes diet. Focus on fresh, and focus on balance. Include vegetables, lean proteins , whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole fruits.

Get moving. Exercise is one of the most important things you can do for overall health, including mental well-being. Fitness is also one of the best ways to keep weight off once youve lost it.

Find activities you enjoy and try sharing those with friends and family. Exercise doesnt have to happen in the gym. Grab a friend and go for a fast walk through the neighborhood or take a hike in the park. The vitamin D will give you an extra boost of health and well-being.

What Causes Type 2 Diabetes

How Long Do Diabetics Live? How Can Life Expectancy Be ...

Insulin is a hormone made by your pancreas that acts like a key to let blood sugar into the cells in your body for use as energy. If you have type 2 diabetes, cells dont respond normally to insulin; this is called insulin resistance. Your pancreas makes more insulin to try to get cells to respond. Eventually your pancreas cant keep up, and your blood sugar rises, setting the stage for and type 2 diabetes. High blood sugar is damaging to the body and can cause other serious health problems, such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease.

How Advocating For Your Health Can Help Extend Your Life With Diabetes

As always, the most important step a person living with diabetes can take to improve the quality of their life and potentially extend it is to speak up for themselves to get the quality of social and medical support they need. Ask your provider questions, request the ability to access a diabetes educator, and make an effort to be as proactive as possible, Rinker says.

Self-advocacy shouldnt stop at the doctors office door, though; its important to speak with family members and friends so that they understand how to lend a hand, whether its recognizing , or knowing which snacks to stock up on before the next holiday get-together. A review published in November 2013 in the journal Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity suggested that support from friends and family can help you adhere to your diabetes management plan.

Follow these steps to help manage diabetes and potentially lengthen your life:

The Lifespan Of Individuals Living With Type 2 Diabetes:

People with type 2 diabetes cannot utilize the insulin produced by the pancreas leading to accumulation of glucose in the blood. While type 2 develops much later in life than type 1, it remains undiagnosed for years in which the host can develop other health complications. Type 2 diabetes is more of an inflammatory disease, hence it is more damaging to the body.

A 2010 report by the Diabetes UK claims that type 2 diabetes reduces the lifespan by 10 years. A 2012 Canadian study claimed that women aged over 55 years with type 2 diabetes lost on an average of 6 years while men lost 5.

Most of this early death comes from complications such as heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure. People with the condition also tend to be depressed and inactive all of which tend to make the lifespan shorter.

However, a recent Dutch study found encouraging results that people with type 2 diabetes and an average age of 66 tend to have the same death rate as those without diabetes.

Can Type 2 Diabetes Be Reversed

Yes! The good news is that several studies have shown that type 2 diabetes can be reversed. You are considered in remission from type 2 diabetes when you have had normal blood sugar levels for a year without medication.

One of the most important components in reversing type 2 diabetes is early detection. Dr. Bergquist explains, The pancreas produces insulin. The longer you have diabetes, the more damage your insulin resistance causes to your pancreas, and the less likely your pancreas is to recover. Hence, the possibility for remission decreases the longer you have diabetes. But theres a wide window during which you can be successful.

Exercise Physical Activity And Weight Loss

Its important for people with Type 2 diabetes to be physically active. They should aim to get in at least 30 minutes of physical activity five days per week. If weight loss is desired, a modest goal for weight loss of five to seven percent of body weight will help decrease insulin resistance, and protect remaining beta cells in the pancreas.

Research in the United Kingdom has shown that just a small amount of weight loss around the pancreas will greatly reduce insulin resistance. Overall weight loss can help reduce visceral fat.

How To Use The Record

First read the shaded bar across the page. This tells you:

  • the name of the test or check-up
  • how often to get the test or check-up
  • what your personal goal is

Then, write down the date and results for each test or check-up you get. Take this card with you on your health carevisits. Show it to your health care team. Talk about your goals and how you are doing.

A1C At least twice each year My goal: ______

The Difference Between Type 1 And Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin

In July, a report by Diabetes UK revealed five million people in England are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Chris Askew, chief executive of Diabetes UK said: Over three million people are living with diabetes in England. If their condition is well managed they can live long, fulfilling lives.

There are key targets for managing diabetes in terms of blood glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure. Two out of five people with Type 2 diabetes meet them but fewer than one in five people with Type 1 diabetes do.

Diabetes is a crisis for the health of the nation. But if we work together we can realise our vision of a world where diabetes can do no harm.

Everyone with diabetes should have vital health checks to make sure the condition doesnt lead to other health problems.

These include: blood sugar checks every three months, then every six months, feet checks once a year, eye tests, blood pressure, cholesterol and kidney disease checks.

Rethinking A1c Goals For Type 2 Diabetes

“Treat the patient, not the number.” This is a very old and sound medical school teaching. However, when it comes to blood sugar control in diabetes, we have tended to treat the number, thinking that a lower number would equal better health.

Uncontrolled type 2 diabetes is associated with all sorts of very bad things: infections, angry nerve endings causing chronic pain, damaged kidneys, vision loss and blindness, blocked arteries causing heart attacks, strokes, and amputations So of course, it made good sense that the lower the blood sugar, the lower the chances of bad things happening to our patients.

Is Type 2 Diabetes Serious

How Long Can You Live With Type 2 Diabetes In USA 2021

Around 90% of people with diabetes in the UK have type 2. It is serious condition and can be lifelong.

If left untreated, high sugar levels in your blood can seriously damage parts of your body, including your eyes, heart and feet. These are called the complications of diabetes. But with the right treatment and care, you can live well with type 2 diabetes and reduce your risk of developing them.

Learn more about diabetes complications.

Relative Risk Of Death

Age adjusted risks of death show meaningful changes after the age of 60 for the diabetic population, coinciding with the age of diagnosis. For the age group 6064 the risk of death in the diabetic population is 0.09228 vs. 0.08981 for the non diabetic population. The relative risks are 197% for diabetics and 147% for non-diabetics for the same age group and an absolute risk reduction of -0.25%. As potential comorbidities and diabetes complications develop, the risk for the diabetic population increases, with the highest being 0.56 for the age group 8084 vs 0.43 for the non-diabetic population in the same age group. This translates to an absolute risk reduction of -12.7%. At ages 8084 the total relative risk of death is 129%, 159% for diabetics and 171% for non-diabetic. Subgroup analysis by sex shows women consistently have a higher risk of death with a maximum of 2.68 in the age group 3034. This risk is similar to that of ages 5054, where the risk in diabetic women is 264%. The highest calculated relative risk was for diabetic men ages 2024 where analysis showed a 3 times higher risk of death .

How To Learn To Live With Type 2 Diabetes

It takes more than medicine to cope with diabetes every day.

Type 2 diabetes is serious business, but it’s not a death sentence. With proper management, people can live relatively normal lives. “I think sometimes people still understand diabetes as being the disease where you get your legs cut off and go blind,” says Thomas Blevins, MD, an endocrinologist and founder of Texas Diabetes and Endocrinology, a private practice in Austin.

Diabetes management has come a long way in recent years thanks to a flurry of research, more drug options, advances in home glucose monitoring, and in many cases earlier diagnosis. While diabetes has become more manageable, it isn’t necessarily easier.

Learning how to copeYou’ll need to cope with added health costs, diabetes burnout , social functions like the office holiday party, and family members who may be less than or overzealous in their support.

Turning down a second piece of cake is no piece of cake. But you may need to cope with temptation as well as well-meaning family and friends who morph into the “food police,” interrogating your every food choice.

Diabetes educationYour first ally in learning how to live with diabetes will most likely be a diabetes educator, a health professional who teaches the finer points of living with diabetes.

“I truly think every diabetic should take a course like I took,” Penny says. “Doctors don’t have the time to explain all that needs to be explained.”

Finding support

Tracking Blood Sugar Control Over Time

One easy, accurate way for us to measure a persons blood sugar over time is the hemoglobin A1c level, which is basically the amount of sugar stuck to the hemoglobin molecules inside of our blood cells. These cells last for about three months, so, the A1c is thought of as a measure of blood sugars over the prior three months.

Generally, clinical guidelines have recommended an A1c goal of less than 7% for most people , with a lower goal closer to normal, or under 6.5% for younger people.

We as doctors were supposed to first encourage diet and exercise, all that good lifestyle change stuff, which is very well studied and shown to decrease blood sugars significantly. But if patients didnt meet those target A1c levels with diet and exercise alone, then per standard guidelines, the next step was to add medications, starting with pills. If the levels still werent at goal, then it was time to start insulin injections.

While all this sounds very orderly and clinically rational, in practice it hasnt worked very well. I have seen firsthand how enthusiastic attention to the A1c can be helpful as well as harmful for patients.

And so have experts from the Clinical Guidelines Committee of the American College of Physicians, a well-established academic medical organization. They examined findings from four large diabetes studies that included almost 30,000 people, and made four very important new guidelines around blood sugar control. Heres the big picture.

Diabetes Cuts Years Off Life Span Of Americans

Study Shows Sharp Increase in Percentage of Adults With Diabetes

Laura J. Martin, MD

Dec. 1, 2010 — Diabetes cuts about 8.5 years off the life span of the average 50-year-old compared to a 50-year-old without , new research indicates.

The study also shows that older adults with diabetes have a lower life expectancy at every age compared to people who do not have the disease. For example, researchers say, the difference at age 60 is 5.4 years; itâs one year by 90.

The findings come from a new report commissioned by the National Academy on an Aging Society and was supported by Sanofi-aventis U.S., a pharmaceutical company. It was based on data provided by the Health and Retirement Study, a survey of more than 20,000 Americans over age 50 done every two years by the University of Michigan.

Diabetes: A Chronic Disease

Diabetes is a chronic condition that requires consistent, daily care, which makes it more difficult to control than some other conditions. When damage from diabetes takes too heavy a toll on the body, it can shorten lifespan. In the United States, diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death. Thinking about life expectancy is uncomfortable. But, its important to know that advances in diabetes care and in how people are taking care of their health can make living a long life with diabetes a reality.

Calculating The Risk For Complications According To Age At Diabetes Diagnosis

Using data from the Swedish National Diabetes Registry, researchers looked at 318,083 people with type 2 diabetes and 1,575,108 people without the condition. To compare similar people from each group, they matched participants by age, sex, and county. Researchers followed both groups from 1998 to 2013 to track their rates for heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and hospitalization from heart failure and atrial fibrillation. They tracked deaths resulting from heart disease or any other cause from 1998 to 2014.

This study is the first to compare the excess risks of dying from or developing cardiovascular disease in people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and to adjust the risk for these outcomes according to how long a person has had diabetes an independent risk factor associated with cardiovascular disease risk, researchers said.

During a median follow-up of nearly two and a half years, researchers compared results with those of control participants of similar age without type 2 diabetes and found:

  • Participants diagnosed before age 40 with type 2 diabetes had the greatest excess risk for death, stroke, heart attack, heart failure, or atrial fibrillation at least 3 times greater than for the group without type 2 diabetes.
  • Women generally carried higher excess cardiovascular disease and mortality risks than men in most categories.
  • Excess risks for cardiovascular disease and life years lost declined steadily with the age of diagnosis.

How Does Type 2 Diabetes Relate To Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance causes type 2 diabetes, but a person can have insulin resistance without having type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is about energy in and energy out, explains Dr. Chistofides. In the case of type 2 diabetes, there is a mismanagement between how the body matches energy intake and energy demand. Insulin insensitivity is the symptom of this energy mismanagement that can lead to insulin resistance.

If you have a diet high in processed foods with added sugar, initially your body will keep releasing insulin as it tries to absorb and use glucose. If you have prediabetes and dont limit your over-consumption of sugary foods, heres what can happen:

  • Over time, the excessive release of insulin overwhelms your peripheral tissues, and they become less responsive to it, resulting in insulin insensitivity.
  • At this point, your body is no longer properly absorbing and using glucose, so your blood sugar levels remain elevated.
  • The beta cells in your pancreas continue to produce and release insulin as they try to manage your blood sugar levels.
  • Your beta cells become damaged and die, and your body can no longer produce sufficient levels of insulin, leading to hyperglycemia .
  • , represented by elevated hemoglobin A1C levels, is the last symptom of energy mismanagement, and leads to a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.
  • How To Learn More About Diabetes

    3 Ways You Can Take Charge of Type 2 Diabetes

    • Take classes to learn more about living with diabetes. To find a class, check with your health care team, hospital, or area health clinic. You can also search online.
    • Join a support group in-person or online to get peer support with managing your diabetes.
    • Read about diabetes online. Go toNational Diabetes Education Program.

    Being Overweight Or Obese

    You’re more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if you’re overweight or obese with a body mass index of 30 or more.

    Fat around your tummy particularly increases your risk. This is because it releases chemicals that can upset the body’s cardiovascular and metabolic systems.

    This increases your risk of developing a number of serious conditions, includingcoronary heart disease,and some types ofcancer.

    Measuring your waist is a quick way of assessing your diabetes risk. This is a measure of abdominal, which is a particularly high-risk form of obesity.

    Women have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes if their waist measures 80cm or more.

    Asian men with a waist size of 89cm or more have a higher risk, as do white or black men with a waist size of 94cm or more.

    Exercising regularly and reducing your body weight by about 5% could reduce your risk of getting diabetes by more than 50%.

    Read aboutmeasuring your waist size

    Reduce Your Weight If You Are Obese

    A study involving over 1,000 people with prediabetes shows a diabetes risk reduction of 16 percent for every kilogram of weight that the participants lost.

    Another study showed that overweight individuals who were able to decrease their insulin and blood sugar levels by reducing their weight had experienced increased blood sugar and insulin levels after regaining all the weight they were able to reduce.

    Carbohydrates And Blood Sugar

    , or carbs, usually come from starches or sugars and turn into glucose when they are digested. When glucose enters the bloodstream, its called blood glucose, or blood sugar.


    The more carbohydrate eaten in a meal, the more sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream and usually the higher the blood sugar will be.

    Although very few people would agree that sugary foods are good for you, some foods that we think of as healthy such as fruit can have a lot of sugar. And many people dont know that starchy foods such as bread, rice, pasta, and potatoes quickly turn to sugar when you digest them.

    For some people, eating a potato could raise blood sugar as much as eating 9 teaspoons of sugar! It can be hard to predict exactly how someones blood sugar will respond, as this will likely vary based on genetics and baseline insulin sensitivity. By testing your blood sugar before eating and every 30-minutes after eating for up to two hours, you can quickly learn how different foods affect your blood glucose level. The results may surprise you!

    Chart: Dr. David Unwin

    How Long Can People With Diabetes Expect To Live

    Diabetes UK estimates in its report, Diabetes in the UK 2010: Key Statistics on Diabetes , that the 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 have traditionally lived shorter lives, with life expectancy having been quoted as being reduced by over 20 years.

    However, improvement in diabetes care in recent decades indicates that people with type 1 diabetes are now living significantly longer.

    Results of a 30 year study by the University of Pittsburgh, published in 2012, noted that people with type 1 diabetes born after 1965 had a life expectancy of 69 years.

    Make A Routine To Visit Your Doctor

    This is one of the tips that you must follow. You must make a habit to be with your doctor friend at regular intervals. These visits will help you to understand what is good for you and you will also not have to fight the disease alone. You should always seek medical advice even though the change may look small. If you are not following your regular diet due to certain conditions, you must visit your doctor to know the further course of action.

    Read Also:10 Questions to Ask Your Diabetes Doctor

    The Lifespan Of Individuals With Prediabetes:

    Prediabetes is a condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not enough to be classified as diabetes. Generally, people with this condition have blood glucose levels in the following range;

    • Fasting: between 100mg/dl and 126mg/dl
    • After meals: between 140 and 200mg/dl

    It can progress to type 2 diabetes unless the blood sugar levels are controlled. It is a common misunderstanding that prediabetes is not a health risk unless it progresses to type 2. Any amount of increased blood sugar is harmful to the body, putting the affected people at an increased risk for heart attack, stroke and kidney problems.

    A study performed at a Health Center in Detroit showed that 36% of the prediabetes patients had coronary heart disease with diabetes patients showing 42%; which is much higher than the normal people . Hence prediabetes should well be considered as a stage 1 diabetes. Once the prediabetes status of the patient progresses to type 2 diabetes, it is subjected to the same lifespan risks associated with type 2.

    People are usually unaware of the condition. Hence, the first critical step in prediabetes management should be to increase awareness of the condition, to prevent its advancement to type 2 diabetes.


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