Life expectancy of people with diabetes

Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a phrase that is increasingly common every day in medical practice. The disease is typical for people of all ages. Someone perceives this as a sentence, falling into depression, other patients adapt to new living conditions, following the recommendations of the attending physician. But the life expectancy of people with diabetes is a topic that does not lose its relevance. Doctors do not put forward a universal method of calculating years. The individuality of the cases does not allow to determine the patient’s life expectancy, but every diabetic is able to extend his years with a reasonable and responsible approach to treatment and support of his own health!

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Disease types

“Sweet ailment”, as doctors and patients jokingly call it, has several forms:

  • Acquired type 1 or 2 disease causing problems with sugar absorption;
  • A congenital form in which the child’s body is unable to produce insulin from the first days.

Type 1 diabetes (T1DM) needs close monitoring, since the human pancreas is unable to produce the hormone on its own. Taking the drug for life is the only method of containing disease and maintaining well-being. Without a course of drugs, no therapy method will extend the years of a patient’s life. Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) is easier to contain, allowing a diabetic to live to a ripe old age, even without additional insulin injections. The type of ailment is caused by an incorrect lifestyle, overweight, and it is diagnosed more often after 40 years. The life course of a person suffering from DM 2m is usually longer.   

The answer to the question about the life span of a diabetic is as individual as the form of the patient’s illness.

What determines life expectancy?

The patient’s life expectancy factor depends on several points:

  • Timely detection of the disease;
  • Classification of the disease (type 1 or 2);
  • Human awareness of further prevention and treatment;
  • The stage of damage to internal organs, the presence of concomitant complications;
  • Attending physician level;
  • Psychological stability and desire to live.

Congenital forms of the disease cause more controversy. Parents of a baby who has already been born with diabetes should be in control of their baby’s lifestyle. It is not necessary to limit food, depriving the child of a varied menu. Calorie counting, the ratio of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, in combination with moderate physical activity, support the state of the body, strengthen the muscular skeleton, instilling in the baby the correct pace of life from an early age. The main thing is not to let the problem take its course! The life expectancy of diabetics is 90% dependent on adherence to therapeutic recommendations. An insulin-dependent patient will be able to live longer than a person who completely refuses additional injections of the drug.

Measures for congenital diabetes mellitus

Even an experienced endocrinologist who treats diabetics will not give exact figures for the life span. The congenital form of diabetes mellitus is a diagnosis that the parents of the baby learn about, therefore, the duration of existence directly depends on the psychological stability and strength of the parents:

  • From an early age, a child is taught to an adapted daily routine (they regulate nutrition and physical activity). The kid goes to a regular kindergarten so as not to feel his own exclusivity. The factor helps the child to adapt to life in society, to conduct active social activities, to start their own family in the future;
  • The life expectancy of a diabetic is reduced if parents give up in the fight for the health of the child;
  • It so happens that a child early breaks out of parental care, starting to lead a wrong lifestyle. This is fraught with complications in the kidneys, blood vessels, and other organs, which leads to conditions up to hypoglycemic coma.

The psychological education of the child is an important part of the treatment. A positive mood, a supportive atmosphere at home, information on the topic of disease control – all this will help the baby to accept his own peculiarity, and treat it as a way of life, and not as a problem.

Measures for acquired diabetes mellitus

The first thing that a patient with acquired diabetes needs to understand is that the point of no return has been passed. But this is not a reason to despair. It is necessary to adjust the way of life, to bring the routine of the day and night back to normal. The development of an individual method of containing the disease will not take much time. Psychological motivation lies in the stories of people who live to old age even with insulin dependence. For example, take the story of US resident Bob Krause, who, having had diabetes since the age of 5, was awarded the Medal of Longevity on his 90th birthday. Factors helping to adjust lifestyle:

  • Following the recommendations of the attending physician. Taking the right medicines on time;
  • Compliance with a diet that helps to reduce and stabilize blood glucose levels;
  • Track skin condition, care for cuts, scratches;
  • Working to reduce body weight to reduce stress on the skeleton and cardiovascular system.

The life expectancy of people with diabetes can be increased by preventing negative thoughts from killing positive moods for further action. Diabetes is not a death sentence, especially in today’s medical environment.

Additional measures

Pessimism is associated with people’s ignorance of the specifics of the disease. Doctors do not have enough time to explain, patients themselves do not look for information on the Internet, motivation for treatment and health support falls. The situation is aggravated when the patient is left alone with his thoughts, losing hope for a long and fulfilling life.

This cannot be allowed. There are a number of recommendations that can return positive thinking to a diabetic, contributing to his rehabilitation and treatment.

  • Do not fight the illness yourself. In every city there are clubs of people where they can share their own story, find support, find a fighting spirit in relation to what happened. It is necessary to open a new stage of life. Communication with like-minded people on the Internet is an equally effective method of gaining motivation. 
  • Check with your doctors. Close interaction with an endocrinologist, therapist, nutritionist and cardiologist will eliminate complications and prevent them. 
  • Lead an active lifestyle, come up with an activity that can be distracted. Buy or take a dog from a shelter to walk with it daily. Sign up for the pool, start swimming. Try to go for a walk in the forest, park, enjoying the fresh air. 
  • Buy a pocket blood glucose meter to measure your blood sugar even when you are away from home. Take a few sweets with you to restore glucose in time if it drops sharply. 


The rhetorical question about the life expectancy of diabetics depends on many factors, but adherence to simple medical recommendations and psychological hygiene will help normalize the lifestyle, curbing the negative effects of diabetes. You can live happily ever after with an illness!

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