After diabetes diagnosis, many type 1 and type 2 diabetes worry about their life expectancy.

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Death is never a pleasant subject but it’s human nature to want to know ” how long can I expect to live “.

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Diabetes can have serious health implications that affect live expectancy . The impact depends on various factors, such as how soon a person receives a diagnosis and treatment, and how well they and their healthcare team manage the condition.

A report from the United Kingdom estimated that type 2 diabetes reduced life expectanchy by up to 10 years, while type 1 diabetes reduced it by at least 20 years, on average.

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When they get a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, how it will affect the length of their life.

Diabetes is complex, with many variables and possible complications and each person is different. It is hard to know how the condition will affect an individual’s life expectancy. However, it appears likely that with an early diagnosis and effective management, many people can expect to live as long as those without diabetes and to have a good quality of life.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the United States, the average life expectancy at birth for males was 76.4 years, for females, it was 81.2 years.

The CDC estimated that 33.3% people in every 100,000 died of diabetes related causes in 2019. They noted that diabetes was the seventh most common cause of death in the US.

A Canadian study calculated the effects of diabetes on life expectancy at 55 years of age. They found that the disease caused an average reduction of 6 years in female and 5 years in males.

In 2019, a study published in the New England journal of Medicine concluded that the following could reduce the risk of death linked to type 2 diabetes.

*Screening * Medications * Better awareness

The range of estimated life expectancies is wide, depending on a person’s age, life style factors, and treatments.

A person who does not manage their glucose levels effectively, who smokes, and who does not exercise likely has a shorter life expectancy than a person with a healthful, active lifestyle who does not smoke and who maintains stable blood glucose levels.

People with type 1 diabetes have been known to live for as long as over 85 years with the condition. As noted above, recent studies into life expectancy are showing significant improvement in life expectancy rates for people with type 1 diabetes born later in the 20th century.

Generally type 2 diabetes develops more slowly than type 1 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is a complex condition with many variables. At the time of diagnosis, the doctor will not be able to rell how the condition will affect a person’s life expectancy.

Common risk factors that can decrease life expectancy in people with diabetes include :-

(a) being overweight or having obesity particularly if it involves excess fat in the abdomen.

(b) having a diet that is low in fiber and high in sugar, fat, and salt.

(c) Smoking

(d) engaging in low levels of physical activity.

(e) getting little sleep

(f) having high levels of stress

Health issues can have the same effect:

(a) Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease, and a history of stroke.

(b) Liver diseases

(c) Kidney diseases

(d) High cholesterol levels

(e) Infections

(f) high blood pressure

(g) Ulcer or gastrointestinal conditions.

Some tips for better life expectancy :-

Recommendations for increasing life expectancy in people with diabetes are similar to management and prevention tips.

(1) Eating healthfully : A person should limit the consumption of foods that contain simple sugars, such as juices and candies, as these can cause blood sugar spikes. Also, it is better to eat complex, rather than simple carbohydrates. These are in whole grains and legumes.

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People should also limit their alcohol intake.

(2) Exercising : The office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion recommend that adults get at least 150-300 minutes of moderately intense aerobic exercise each week, such as brisk walking or dancing.

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(3) Losing Weight: In people with excess weight , losing 5-10 percent can significantly reduce the impact of diabetes.

(4) Monitoring and treating blood sugar levels : Tracking these levels allows a person to identify peaks, and they can then address the cause, Also medications such as metformin can help stablize blood sugar levels, but only if a person them as the doctor prescribes.

Early age of type 1 diabetes diagnosis linked to shorter life expectancy,  compared to later diagnosis

(5) Following the treatment plan : This includes attending regular screenings and following the doctor’s instructions about life style strategies and medications.

(6) Managing cardiovascular risks : Many health conditions can increase the effects of diabetes, such as kidney and heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease is the main cause of death among people with diabetes.

(7) Preventing infections : People with diabetes have a higher risk of developing infections, such as influenza, pneumonia and urinary tract infections. Also, skin wounds can take longer to heal, and if they become ulcerated, amputation may be necessary. This can reduce a person’s life expectancy according to the research.

To prevent these complications –

(i) Practice good hygience, including hand washing.

(ii) get routine vaccinations to protect against the flu and other illness.

(iii) Check the feet and the rest of the body regularly for wounds that may need attenuation.

(iv) Seek medical help early for infections including chest infections.

(8) Reducing stress: Stress stimulates the release of hormones that can raise blood sugar and interfere with insulin regulation, yoga meditation, and speaking with a mental health professional or counselor can help combat stress.

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(9) Other healthful lifestyle choices: These include getting enough sleep and refraining from smoking.

(10) Learning about diabetes: Those who engaged in self management diabetes plans appeared to have longer life expediencies than those who did not.

In a self management education program , a person learns the skills they need to manage their condition . This can improve quality of life, reduce costs, and reduce the risk of complications, according to the centers for disease control and prevention (CDC).

Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition that can lead to life-threatening complications. However, by adopting effective management strategies, there is a good chance that many people with type 2 diabetes can expect to live as long as a person without the condition. A person should learn as much as possible about the condition, follow their treatment plan, maintain an active life style and healthful diet, refrain from smoking, and receive prompt treatment for complications such as infections and cardiovascular disease.

Stay Tuned !

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