Taking Your Prescribed Diabetes Medications
If you’re diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, your doctor may prescribe medications to help manage your condition, such as insulin or Metformin. Taking your medications as directed is important for keeping your blood sugar levels under control.
Even if you see an improvement in your symptoms or you start to feel better, continuing to take your medications is critical unless your doctor instructs you to do otherwise. You’re likely feeling better because you’ve been taking your medications, and stopping abruptly or prematurely will only make the condition worse.
The Causes Of Early Death In Type 2 Diabetes
The No. 1 cause of death among people with diabetes iscardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease is also the No. 1 cause of death in the general population , but people with diabetes are significantly more likely to suffer from heart disease and stroke, and are more likely to suffer from these conditions at younger ages. The details of how exactly diabetes and its attendant hyperglycemia cause cardiovascular disease are still up for debate, butthe connection is undeniable.
Perhaps surprisingly, diabetessignificantly increases the risk of many types of cancer, particularlyliver cancer. People with diabetes are significantly more likely to develop more common cancers such as breast, lung, and colorectal cancer. Kidney disease, a microvascular complication of diabetes, can also be lethal.
Unfortunately, diabetes is also associated withan increased risk of several other causes of premature death, including infectious diseases, external causes, intentional self-harm, and degenerative disorders. Diabetes makes the body more susceptible toinfection , chronic obstructive pulmonary disease , and liver disease. It accelerates the development of dementia andAlzheimers disease, and creates othermental health challenges not related to cognitive decline , all of which can contribute to early death.
Simply put, type 2 diabetes has a shockingly comprehensive negative effect on public health outcomes. And its impossible to predict how it may affect any one patient.
Take Care Of Your Emotional And Mental Health
Living with type 2 diabetes can be pretty challenging. Having to manage your diabetes can feel overwhelming. In addition to taking care of your physical health, it is vital to take care of your mental health as well.
You can reduce your stress levels by incorporating meditation, yoga, orTai Chiexercises into your daily routine. Don’t forget to relax, take a deep breath, and have fun. Moreover, having access to support groups is also a good idea if things get tough.
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Follow A Healthy Diet
Diet plays a huge part in managing type 2 diabetes. You should consult your physician to figure out how much fat, protein, and carbohydrates you require in your diet. Instead, replace refined sugars and carbs with carbs and fiber that are low glycemic, such as whole grains and legumes. Choose lean meats, poultry, or fish for protein.
In addition, you should avoid high sodium foods such as processed meats and junk food. Make more water your beverage of choice and cut back on sugary drinks. Maintain a consistent eating schedule and watch your portion sizes.
How To Beat The Odds
Type 2 diabetes is not, by any means, a death sentence. And its absolutely possible for people with diabetes to reduce their risk of early decline. It takes dedication, but many risk factors can be improved with the right blend of diet, exercise, and medical intervention:
Glycemic management. Diabetes is defined by high blood sugar, and good blood sugar management isunquestionably a key to reducing most of its negative complications. At least onestudy found that essentially all of the lethal conditions discussed above are highly correlated with hyperglycemia.
This may be considered good news: It means that prioritizing optimal glycemic control can reduce health risks across the board. Achieving the glucose control targets set by doctors will not only help slow or avoid the development of diabetic complications but also should help reduce the likelihood of indirect consequences like cancer.
Weight loss. For most patients with diabetes, weight loss also confers comprehensive health benefits. In fact, many experts now argue thatweight loss is an even more important health goal than glycemic control, because it creates both blood sugar improvements and many other improvements besides. So it should be no surprise that a2022 study found that weight loss was the only factor more powerful than glycemic improvements for creating gains in life expectancy.
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Advances In Diabetes Care
Improvements in life expectancy with diabetes could be due, in part, to more accurate information on death rates and causes of death. However, diabetes treatment and management is continuing to improve in many ways including:
More effective medications including injectable insulin, intensive insulin therapy , inhaled insulin, and oral medications to help regulate insulin and blood glucose.
Easier-to-use blood glucose monitoring tools including less painful lancing devices and continuous glucose monitoring.
More support for self-management from professionalssuch as certified diabetes educators and nurse educators experienced in training patients to effectively self-manage diabetes.
Will Diabetes Affect My Life Insurance
You might be worried that you will not be able to take out a life insurance policy because of your condition.
We can provide support in finding the right life insurance policy for you. With over two decades of experience, our diabetes life insurance experts will compare insurance from the UKs top providers, matching you with an insurance policy that meets your needs.
for a free diabetic life insurance quote or more information about life insurance and diabetes.
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Implications For Public Health
Given assumed trends in general mortality and excess mortality associated with T2D, the results suggest a substantial improvement of \ associated with T2D and T2D-free life expectancy in the German population between 2015 and 2040. This should motivate further efforts to lower the incidence and excess mortality of T2D. This is particularly important, because we also found that increases in incidence and a sustained high T2D-associated excess mortality would lead to substantial increases in disease burden.
The results may be used to inform about the impact of future efforts in treating and preventing T2D. In this regard, two different mechanisms could be the target of interventions. Measures generally known as primary prevention aim to prevent disease and thus target the incidence rate . Given an effective measure of primary prevention, this would impact T2D-free life expectancy and \ on the population level, but would not improve \ in individuals with T2D. Examples for primary prevention include taxes on unhealthy products , food labeling and setting based approaches that support healthy food choices . With regard to food labeling, the nutriscore was recently introduced to Germany .
When To Visit A Doctor
If you have concerns about potential complications associated with type 1 diabetes, talk to your doctor about steps to maximize your life expectancy. The earlier you do this, the better chance you have of minimizing the potential damage that poor glycemic control can have on your body.
If you are experiencing a low mood, feelings of hopelessness, or a loss of interest in activities, you may want to consider checking in with your doctor to get help. Depression and suicide are common in type 1 diabetes, so it’s important to realize you aren’t alone and that support is available.
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Only Type 1 Diabetes Needs Insulin
Fact: Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease that worsens with time. Because the pancreas generates less insulin over time, 50% of persons with type 2 diabetes will require insulin, 6-10 years after being diagnosed. Taking medicine as needed can lead to fewer long-term consequences.
It is an important element of controlling type 2 diabetes. Insulin replacement therapy is essential for people with type 1 diabetes on a daily basis. Throughout the day, they must monitor their blood glucose levels multiple times.
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 .
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Type 2 Diabetes Treatment
The best way to improve life expectancy for type 2 diabetes is to manage the condition with both medical and lifestyle interventions.
Treatment of type 2 diabetes includes tracking a persons blood sugar levels, which helps them identify peaks and address the cause. Blood glucose monitoring kits are available for purchase online.
There are also experimental drugs that may help in the management of type 2 diabetes. Research is still ongoing and not all of the drugs are available for public use yet.
The effects of diabetes on the blood vessels and nerves that control the heart make it more likely that someone with diabetes will have other health conditions that raise the risk of heart disease, such as high blood pressure, high triglycerides, and high cholesterol.
For people with type 2 diabetes who also have atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, 2018 guidelines recommend that doctors prescribe medications for these conditions as part of an overall diabetes treatment plan.
A 2016 meta-analysis that included data from over 13,000 people found that those who engaged in diabetes self-management education appeared to have longer life expectancies than those who did not.
Additional strategies for maintaining optimal health while living with diabetes include:
Study Estimates Average Life Years Lost From Type 1 Type 2 Diabetes
Research presented at EASD 2020 provides an updated estimate of the life years lost as a result of type 1 and type 2 diabetes, respectively, among patients in the UK.
New research from the University of Manchester offers an updated overview of the reduction in life expectancy associated with type 1 and type 2 diabetes compared against the general population.
Presented at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes 2020 annual meeting, results of the study suggest the average person with type 1 diabetes will live nearly 8 years less and those with type 2 diabetes will live almost 2 years less than their counterparts in the general population.
“Knowledge of this may act as an incentive for clinicians to ensure that all people are on the best therapy to keep their blood sugar in the target range, and for those people to engage more strongly with their therapy and lifestyle recommendations, noted study authors.
With many previous analyses of lost life years relying on older data, a team led by Adrian Heald, MD, sought to quantify the average reduction in life expectancy associated with type 1 and type diabetes, respectively, among patients using more recent data. With this in mind, investigators identified the UK National Diabetes Audit and the Office for National Statistics as data sources for their analysis.
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Maintain A Healthy Weight
Being overweight or obese is one of the most important contributing factors to Type 2 Diabetes. Having extra fat in your body, especially around your abdomen, can cause your cells and tissues to become insulin resistant. It means that your cells are unable to use insulin effectively, which leads to glucose remaining in your blood as it is unable to enter your cells.
Research has shown that losing weight can help improve insulin sensitivity in your body, which can help you manage your condition better.
What Risk Factors Can Increase My Chance
These common risk factors include:
- Being overweight or obese
- Physical inactivity and not getting enough exercise
- Not getting enough sleep
- Having an unhealthy diet that is low in fiber and high in fat, particularly saturated fat and trans fat, and high in salt
- Lack of sleep or rest
- Lipid disorders that produce high levels of LDL, or the bad cholesterol
- Taking your medications as prescribed by your doctor
- Preventing infections by practicing good hygiene
All of these things can help you manage type 2 diabetes and potentially increase your life expectancy and quality of life.
If you have type 2 diabetes or are at risk for it, talk to your doctor about how to best manage and prevent the disease.
Managing Carbohydrates Becomes A Fixture In Your Life
Your body processes carbs as blood glucose. But some carbs are processed more quickly than others. As a diabetic, you learn which foods contain fast carbs and which contain slow carbs. For example, your body processes sugars found in bread and sweet treats quicker than the carbs found in fruits and vegetables.
Medications To Manage Diabetes
Lifestyle changes are a large part of improving the prognosis of diabetes. But along with lifestyle changes, people with type 2 diabetes will also likely need medications to manage their condition.
Someone with type 2 diabetes may take several types of medications. They include:
A healthcare provider will work to create the best plan for someone with type 2 diabetes. They will find what works best for that patient to achieve stable blood sugars.
Who Is At Risk For Developing Type 2 Diabetes
There may also be a genetic factor to diabetes, which means that people with family members living with the condition may be more likely to develop it. It is also more common in people over the age of 45.
However, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes among African Americans and Hispanics than in Asians and people who are white. This may be due to a combination of biological and environmental factors and health inequities that may affect historically marginalized groups.
What To Know About Diabetes And Life Expectancy
Twenty-nine million Americans and more than 400 million people worldwide have diabetes. There are two main types of diabetes with different underlying causes. But when either type 1 or type 2 diabetes is not well controlled, they lead to a dangerous buildup of glucose in the blood. Over time, the damage this does to blood vessels and nerves can lead to serious complications, such as blindness, limb amputation, heart disease, and kidney failure.
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Comparison To Previous Studies
A similar reasoning holds for the comparison of previous studies estimating \ associated with T2D. In general, we found lower \ on the individual level compared to studies from other countries . Assuming continuing decreases in T2D-associated excess mortality, we estimated that women and men aged 40 years in 2015 will lose 1.6 years and 2.7 years, respectively. Other studies estimated \s between 3.5 years among Swedish men aged 40 years in 2013 and 8.5 years among Danish men aged 40 between 1995 and 2008 . This range covers our results in the scenario assuming constant \ . Hence, the lower \ in our base case scenario are probably mainly caused by assuming continuing decreases in general as well as excess mortality.
Due to different population sizes, our population-wide estimates of \ cannot be compared to other countries. The GBD provides country-specific \s on the population level. However, the method is based on T2D-related deaths documented in death certificates and does not consider prevalent cases. Using this method, it was estimated that 256,217 years were lost among deaths with T2D as the documented cause of death in 2015 . As expected, this is far below our estimate of 10.8 million \ associated with T2D, since our approach summarizes all individual differences in life expectancies between people with prevalent T2D compared to same-aged persons without T2D.
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 signs of hypoglycemia , 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:
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