Table of Contents
Millions of Americans live with diabetes, and many of them have had the diagnosis for many years. Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics alike are at risk for various potentially lethal complications.
Many people with diabetes, whether type 1 or type 2, worry about how long they will live after their diagnosis.
There is no one-size-fits-all response to the question, “Can you die from diabetes?” Various conditions affect one’s life expectancy. Let us discuss this in greater depth below.
Can People Die From Diabetes?
People who have diabetes cannot balance their blood sugar levels. If the disease is not properly controlled, blood sugar levels can surge to unusually high. This results in a condition known as hyperglycemia. If the blood sugar levels plummet below normal levels, it leads to a condition known as hypoglycemia. Both these life-threatening conditions can sometimes result in coma, and death by diabetes can occur if not treated quickly and effectively.
However, complications arising from the condition are a more common cause of death for people with diabetes. Heart disease attacks persons with diabetes at a considerably higher incidence than it does people without diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association.
Compared to persons without diabetes, people with diabetes develop heart disease at a younger age and are roughly twice as likely as those without diabetes to die of a heart attack or a stroke.
The more common form of the condition, Type 2 diabetes, is associated with raised cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and obesity in those who have it. In most cases, it is not acute diabetes problems that cause diabetes type 2 death, but rather various comorbidities connected with the condition such as cancer, stroke, respiratory disease, or cardiovascular disease (CVD) that cause death.
Is Diabetes Fatal?
People with diabetes can expect to live a long time, but the condition can also raise the risk of other health issues, such as cardiovascular disease and stroke.
Patients with diabetes who have it under control have a better chance of living a healthy and long life. On the other hand, uncontrolled blood glucose levels pose the greatest danger to those who suffer from this ailment. A rapid death can occur if glucose levels are excessively high.
Because the body can’t produce its insulin in type 1 diabetes, diabetic ketoacidosis is more likely. Type 2 diabetes, in which insulin production is present but compromised, is known to cause this complication.
By utilizing an insulin pump or manually injecting themselves with insulin several times a day, most persons with type 1 diabetes can maintain normal blood glucose levels. It is still possible for ketoacidosis to occur, and it can be deadly without insulin treatment. In certain cases, this might be caused by a lack of insulin, but it can also result from an infection or certain medications.
Diabetes-Related Causes of Death
In patients with type 1 diabetes, deaths from diabetes-related acute and chronic complications account for nearly all of the extra premature mortality compared to the general population. The most common causes of death in type 1 diabetes are now diabetes-related chronic comorbidities, mainly cardiovascular disease and kidney failure, rather than the disease itself.
Among people under 35, end-stage renal disease is the primary cause of mortality, accounting for more than half of all fatalities in this demographic. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the major cause of death in people over 35, accounting for two-thirds of all fatalities.
In addition to having raised cholesterol and high blood pressure, people with Type 2 diabetes are more likely to be overweight or obese, both of which are risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Compared to persons who do not have diabetes, they are roughly twice as likely to die from a heart attack or a stroke.
Both types of diabetes can cause severe long-term illnesses, such as renal failure, which can end in mortality before the patient reaches the age of 65. Having problems such as eyesight loss, nerve damage, and infections that can lead to amputations can increase the probability of having an accident and being injured, leading to death.
Last Stages of Diabetes Before Death
End-stage diabetes can result in a variety of life-threatening problems. You should notify the patient’s primary care physician or hospice care provider if you notice any terminal diabetes symptoms listed below.
The following are symptoms of high blood glucose:
- Using the restroom regularly
- Heightened drowsiness
- Increased thirst
- Heightened hunger
- Loss of Weight
- Numbness in the fingers and toes
- Wounds that take a long time to heal
- Having a bad mood or feeling anxious
- Trembling and perspiration
- Vision haziness
How to Improve Your Longevity
Maintaining appropriate blood glucose management is a critical component to protect yourself from dying from diabetes and living a longer and healthier life.
Maintaining blood glucose levels within the approved blood glucose level ranges can assist in reducing the likelihood of problems and, as a result, will help extend life expectancy overall.
In order to assist keep blood pressure and cholesterol levels at healthy levels and encourage excellent blood circulation, it is highly recommended that you live a healthy lifestyle that includes a well-balanced diet as well as regular physical activity.
How to Manage End-of-Life Diabetes Symptoms
At the end of life, maintaining blood glucose levels within the goal range may be difficult, and as a result, it is not as high of a priority as it is earlier in the process. Instead, you’ll want to concentrate on the patient’s comfort and do everything you can to address the immediate symptoms of diabetes and any underlying comorbid or secondary diseases, rather than worrying about keeping blood sugar levels within a set range.
Hospice cares for the patient and the patient’s family and family caregivers by providing a variety of services that meet their medical, emotional, and spiritual needs.
Our team at All American Hospice is here for you and your loved ones if you have diabetes, end-stage diabetic symptoms, or if you have any particular concerns. Reach out to us to schedule a consultation.