What Is A Typical Diabetes Life Expectancy?
Diabetes is a serious medical condition. The rate of people who have been diagnosed with this disease has been increasing in recent years too. Many people who have gotten diagnosed already know that this condition will affect their lifestyle choices and diet. But will it also affect how long they will stay healthy and live?
There is not really a typical diabetes life expectancy, though some major studies in the US and UK have tried to estimate one. This is because there are different types of diabetes, ways to manage the condition, and levels of severity.
In general, the age of onset, levels of control, and genetics play a roll. Some people have milder forms of this condition and can successfully manage it with medication, diet, and exercise. Others might have more severe forms of this disease and other health issues. For them, diabetes management is much harder.
Types of Diabetes And Life Expectancy
Type 1 diabetes might occur in childhood. Type 2 diabetes can appear at any age, but typically shows up in middle age or later. For a number of reasons, people who are already older can expect to have a longer lifespan than people who are younger. This is just because the fact that these individuals have made it this far means they have a better chance to make it further.
This might be hard to understand, but consider a 77 year old man. He is statistically thought to have a better chance to make it to 80 than an average 60 year old man. He has already made it this far with the genes and lifestyle he has.
Anyway, the older people are when they first suffer from diabetes, the better their outlook. The condition is less severe and has less time to damage other organ systems. Still, with proper care, many young people who suffer from type 1 diabetes can expect to live long, healthy, and productive lives.
What Causes Health Complications In Diabetics?
Most diabetics do not succumb to the actual disease, though it is possible to suffer from complications brought on by low blood sugar. In some cases complications from hypoglycemia and Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) can cause death. This is especially true if medical treatment is not sought right away. Most diabetics are able to manage their condition through medication, diet, and exercise so these two extreme symptoms of this condition can be avoided.
What happens is that the medical condition affects other organ systems. This disease can affect the eyes, heart, and kidneys. In addition, diabetes is often accompanied by high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It is this gradual wearing down on other organ systems, especially the heart and kidneys, that can lead to a decreased lifespan.
A UK study estimated that people with type 1 diabetes might expect to live 20 years less than average. People with type 2 diabetes might expect to live 10 years less than average.
But a recent study by the University of Pittsburgh demonstrated that people who had type one diabetes, and were born after nineteen sixty-five, had a life expectancy of sixty-nine years. This means that recent advances in disease management are greatly increasing the chances of diabetics to live a normal life span.
All is not bad news at all. You can find many examples of elderly people who have managed to successfully control this disease and lived productive and functional lives well into old age. Being able to manage this condition and maintain normal blood sugar levels is key.
Other good news comes from major life insurance companies. These insurers often rate diabetics who carefully manage their condition as standard risks. That means that these insurers do not believe that well-managed diabetes will lead to a shorter life span that then average person might expect. Life insurance companies make their living by estimating life spans, and they are very good at it. One might consider this as very good news.
What Can Diabetics Do To Ensure A Good Diabetes Life Expectancy?
Of course, it is best to avoid any unhealthy lifestyle choices. This means that diabetics should never drink or smoke excessively. While avoiding bad lifestyle choices, it is better to embrace good ones. Follow the suggestions from your doctor and nutritionist to make healthy diet choices. Try to get a sensible amount of regular exercise too.
The key is to maintain healthy blood sugar levels as much as possible. This means that diabetics must test their blood sugar regularly as recommended by a doctor. They should follow their doctor’s medication advice to help keep their numbers in range. Good numbers on blood sugar tests are the best indicator that diabetics are successfully controlling their disease through diet, medication, and exercise.
That means he or she needs to seek medical assistance before dire symptoms set in or minor symptoms become major ones. The first sign of major symptoms, like fainting, needs to be treated as an urgent medical matter. The sooner blood sugar can be brought back to normal, the better the outlook for a long diabetes life expectancy.