Diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which your body produces more sugar or glucose than is typical. The term “hyperglycemia” describes an abundance of glucose in your blood.
Blood sugar levels that are too high can be extremely dangerous, endangering your organs severely and raising your chance of various health issues, including cardiovascular disease.
The hormone insulin controls blood sugar levels by instructing the body to convert glucose into energy. The main concern for patients remains how long can you live with diabetes and what is the average life span of a diabetic.
What are the Types of Diabetes?
The following are the two types of diabetes:
Type 1 Diabetes
When your pancreas cannot create enough of the hormone insulin, type 1 diabetes develops. Insulin assists in the transfer of glucose from the blood into your cells, where it may be utilized for energy.
A virus or damage to the pancreas can cause type 1 diabetes, which can also be inherited. Although type 1 diabetes is typically diagnosed between the ages of 4 and 14, it can also be seen in adults.
Before receiving treatment, diabetes can result in symptoms such as increased urination, thirst, and hunger; unexplained weight loss; blurred vision; and disorientation.
Diabetes causes a buildup of sugar in your blood (also known as blood glucose), which can result in these symptoms. Even though there is currently no cure for diabetes, it can be managed with medicine and lifestyle change.
Type 2 Diabetes
When your insulin sensitivity increases and your blood sugar levels rise, type 2 diabetes develops. When you have insulin resistance, your body cannot respond to insulin as it should, which prevents it from properly absorbing and using the sugar in meals as fuel.
This causes the sugar to remain in your blood, which can eventually result in a chronic illness that, if left untreated and unmanaged, can have a major impact on your health.
Having type 2 diabetes causes your insulin response to stop working properly. This results in the following:
- Your muscles, liver, and fat (sometimes referred to as peripheral tissues) develop an inability to respond to insulin, which prevents them from absorbing and using glucose.
- Your pancreas’ beta cells run out of energy and cannot make enough insulin.
However, type 2 diabetes is reversible if detected and treated early, and many symptoms and problems can be avoided.
How Long Can You Live with Diabetes?
According to the Office for National Statistics, the average life span of diabetic men is 77 years, and the average life span of diabetic women is 81 years.
An average man can anticipate living until 83, and an average woman can anticipate living until 85. A person with type 2 diabetes may see a 10-year reduction in life expectancy due to the disease.
The life expectancy of people with type 1 diabetes has historically been reported to be shortened by more than 20 years.
However, advances in diabetes management over the past few decades suggest that those with type 1 diabetes live noticeably longer.
Why Do People with Diabetes Have Shorter Life Expectancy?
Over time, uncontrolled blood sugar levels can result in several short- and long-term consequences. These consist of the following:
A form of eye condition known as diabetic retinopathy typically affects persons who have had diabetes for a long period. Blood veins in the retina at the back of your eyes are harmed by high blood glucose levels, which can result in blindness in some cases and visual loss.
Diabetic nephropathy, or kidney disease in people with diabetes, is a popular term. Nephropathy, which results from damaged blood arteries in the kidneys and renders the organs incapable of removing waste from the bloodstream, affects about 40% of persons with diabetes.
If the illness worsens, you may experience renal failure and need dialysis or a kidney transplant.
People with diabetes often have cardiovascular or heart disease because of the blood flow problems that hyperglycemia brings. Angina (chest pain), heart attacks, and stroke can all be caused by heart disease.
The following conditions are frequently seen in patients with higher blood sugar levels.
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol (triglycerides)
Short-term consequences like diabetic ketoacidosis and hypoglycemia can also be fatal.
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How to Increase Life Expectancy as A Diabetic?
The key to extending the average life span as a diabetic is to maintain appropriate blood glucose management. You can reduce your risk of consequences from having too much glucose in your blood by maintaining the recommended blood sugar levels for someone with diabetes.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and eating a diabetes-friendly diet also help you keep your condition under better control.
Because carbohydrates substantially impact your blood glucose levels, a reduced carbohydrate diet can improve blood sugar stability in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
A low-carb diet has even been credited with putting type 2 diabetes into remission for certain people.
Is Life Expectancy Lower for People with Type 1 Diabetes?
Those with type 1 diabetes are more likely than those with type 2 to develop it earlier in life. As a result, people typically live longer with the illness and its associated problems.
However, the life expectancy of diabetics has increased over time. In one study, patients were followed for 30 years, and those diagnosed with diabetes between 1965 and 1980 had a 15-year increase in life expectancy over those diagnosed between 1950 and 1964.
Even better than the general population, according to some studies, type 1 diabetes patients’ mortality rates are decreasing. This might result from improvements in diabetes care, like more readily available insulin, better technology for tracking blood sugar levels and giving insulin, and more stringent glycemic control.
Unlike type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes frequently develops more slowly. As a result, type 2 diabetes (and other kinds of diabetes) may not be discovered in patients until years after they first exhibit symptoms. Unfortunately, type 2 diabetes may only be discovered after other health issues show symptoms.
Diabetes is a dangerous condition. Your dedication to following your diabetes treatment plan must be constant. A careful approach to diabetes management can lower your chance of serious and potentially fatal complications.
At HGA, we know the advantages of preventive healthcare and how crucial it is for diabetes prevention.
Our primary care team’s medical staff members are all board certified in internal medicine. Any medical issues you might be concerned about, we can help you uncover and understand.
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