Is it possible to have a successful life with diabetes?

I just started experienced it. The tingling in feet, the tiredness, also it makes to have brought up asthma which I only have rarely. I feel bloated and fat. I haven’t been diagnosed yet but the doctor got my blood test and wants to “discuss it” so it can’t be good.

I feel like I’m completely screwed and I’m to some extent blaming myself for eating Thinkthin bars which are not safe when I had information that indicated to me that I should not eat them.

No, I’m not crazy, I’m referring to this.

I believe this caused my problems. I’ve seen this study and still continued eating a lot of ThinkThin bars. So there is some blame going on as well.

Anyway, I see here people who say they lived 20 or even 44 years with diabetes so apparently it’s possible. But I just can’t imagine it. It feels like my life is ruined.

Any advice?

Hi Rabbit: Welcome to our club, the one no one really wants to join but here you will find all the advice you need to get yourself under control and lead a long, healthy and productive life. Yes, living 44 years with diabetes should not be an issue today with all the modern technologies we have. If you take care of your diabetes, that is not what will kill you.

It takes work, but since you are stuck with this crud for life, just look for small weekly and monthly improvements and you can lead a most wonderful life. I am in my 70’s, diabetic for more than 30 years, and recently gave up inline marathon skate competitions.

How well you do and how well you progress is virtually all dependent on how much effort you want to put into improving your health, but in short the answer to your question is that many of us have highly successful lives but our lives did not come without a lot of hard work along the way.

Ask us anything, and I am sure you will get a prompt answer. Then do what you feel is best for your situation.

Welcome again and we look forward to being a resource for you

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@CJ114 has provided a good response, but I’ll add my $0.02 … I was diagnosed as T1D in 1972 at age 22. 48 years and counting … and there are a number of folks here with significantly more years than I. In many respects, I’m healthier now than I was then: better diet, less drinking, more exercise, …

Lots of technology to help …

And, in my view, there are many more debilitating problems to have.

Best wishes and stay safe!



I would advise to… embrace a new life. Do not think of what you did or didn’t do in the past. It doesn’t matter. Look at what is ahead and how to make the best out of it.

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I was diagnosed type 1 in childhood, and its been 55 years now taking insulin. My Mom was diagnosed Type 2 around age 50, now in late 80s !

Try not to worry, and focus on what to do now rather than past choices. Most of those studies really should not be used for blame. Diabetes has hereditary nature too.

Advice… learn what works for you. Get a BG meter and start testing before and after meals to see how YOU respond to foods and portion sizes. Read labels and focus on carbs rather than calories for correlation to how much your BG rises after meal. Log this and review with doctor, as that will help with deciding your treatment. More carbs usually lead to higher BG, that eventually comes down.

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But it’s so hard not to think “what if I just stopped eating the bars?”

You have 2 choices:

  1. Spend all your time thinking about who or what to blame, do nothing and die young,
  2. Take actions proactively, get your diabetes under control and live a long healthy successful life.

That is a choice and commitment only you can make.


There is no single thing anyone can do to prevent diabetes, and in many cases no big bunch of things that can prevent it either!
Can you imagine how many more billions of people would have diabetes if eating ThinkThin bars, and/or artificial sweeteners were a slam dunk cause? Sure, research has shown there may be some side effects to artificial sweeteners, and they might raise blood sugar even, but raising one’s blood sugar even by 10% (assuming the avg BG for a person with a functional pancreas is 85) still doesn’t put them a range thats generally considered problematic.
(My personal take on the research re artificial sweeteners is that we should be aware nothing comes free; but its still a matter of weighing choices, and for me a Diet Coke is always going to be a better choice than a Regular Coke eve if there are some negative effects from the artificial sweeteners. Its always about making more informed choices, and not being fearful of one thing or another without context or practical alternatives.)
All other logic aside though , there’s no undoing what happened yesterday, so all the “what ifs” just waste time and cause headaches! Guilt isn’t useful here, even if you had eaten a case of Gummy Bears every day for a year (no offense meant to Gummy Bears), guilt wouldn’t do any good!

I was diagnosed in 1991, so Im almost at 30 years now; Ive got a friend in town who just celebrated 40 years, and my former co-worker who had 50 years of living with diabetes retired and moved south to hang with her grandkids… so heck yeah, we can live long and healthy, happy, productive lives with diabetes of all kinds!

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Put up signs with positive things to replace those thoughts. There are millions of people with type 2 diabetes, and there are too many factors, including heredity, that may contribute. My mom, as mentioned is Type 2, so are all her siblings, but neither parent.

And what if those bars did contribute… it DOESN’T MATTER. JUST MOVE FORWARD.

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CJ your reply made me tear up a bit and I’m a guy. I guess you crystallized the options quite nicely.

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About the bars, it’s not simply eating them. It’s eating sucralose and then eating carbohydrates within a short period of time. The study showed it made everyone who did that pre-diabetic. I read the study, Googled Splenda’s response (brand name of sucralose) which was just your basic spin saying 20 patients sample size is small, etc. I didn’t have other food to eat at that time unfortunately so I decided to just shake it off and kept eating them. The study is from Yale, they had to stop the study for moral reasons as it was making everyone prediabetic. Yet, I still ignored this.

You can read the article if you’d like.

I spent several minutes before hitting the reply button because the last thing I wanted to do is discourage or offend you. We are here to help and I can assure you that whatever you are going through, several on this board have gone through the identical or near identical issues so we can always offer you several options to choose from. Sugars and sugar substitutes are the greatest sources of evil for diabetics. White bread, rice, pasta, potato, all rapidly turn to sugar. Splenda and other substitutes trick your brain into wanting more sugar. You can’t go cold turkey and need to re-balance what you eat one step at a time or you will fail. Processed food has over 190 names for sugar and sugar substitutes so you will need to learn to read labels and either cut out part or all of the sugar content little by little or medicate to compensate. Whatever you like to eat, most likely there is a healthy food substitute with similar taste. Just resolve to take this one step at a time and forget about the past. Tomorrow with a little knowledge will be a better brighter day,

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The study (on a painfully small group) says that combining artificial and actual sweeteners “rapidly impairs glucose metabolism”. Sure, that isn’t a thing to strive for and can be a pre-cursor to eventually developing diabetes, but don’t give credit where its not due… that study did not conclude that the outcome was “pre-diabetes”.

Its a catchy headline for sure, but there’s a reason why science is so slow sometimes and thats because it takes at least one really well-designed study (huge and varied population groups; double-blind; pre-determined data analysis techniques) in order to come up with reliable conclusions, let aline to tease out correlation vs causation!
[Stepping down from soapbox now, sorry.]

My initial point doesn’t change though, and echoes many others in that there’s just zero point in dwelling over “what ifs” and “should have dones” and feeling guilty (true for all situations, not just this one) and your best use of time and energy will be to figure out how to live in whatever your new reality turns out to be!

If you do get a full-on diabetes diagnosis though, know you’re in good company and joining a team of millions. : )

I just wanted to add to the posters who are talking about the genetic component to Diabetes. My Grandfather was T2, one of his brothers was T2, The other brother was T1. One of my Grandfather’s daughters was a Type 1. I am now a Type 2 and my brother might be a Type 2. My mom is 72 and just had a fasting BG come in at 110 after years of fasting BG in the 80’s. Last fasting BG from mom six months ago was 99. Moms does not eat bad foods and is having higher BG now. I had a very appalling diet, more appalling than anything you mentioned and I am extremely overweight. I think, in my case, I might have sped the diabetes diagnosis up a little bit prematurely from what I ate, but I did not cause the diabetes by eating carbs. The diabetes is something that comes from genetics. There are people on Keto diets who become diabetic and have to take Insulin to cover BG spikes. It is not a one size fits all disease. You should not feel guilty over having a disease. All you can do is control it the best way you can. It can be through diet, exercise, medication, or even a combination of all three. Also, as one poster pointed out, there are worse things you can have than Diabetes. I also have worse things and if T2 was all I had, I’d jump for joy and be so happy. You will get this all figured out. Don’t be so hard on yourself. You are in excellent company here!


I remember one time Gramps brother Marco had a glass of wine at a party and ended up passing out from low blood sugar. All they had in those days to check BG levels were strips you used to pee on and it told you when your BG was really high. They had no test meters and I don’t even think Metformin was approved in the US until the early 90’s. So, they didn’t even have that and Met is the best med we have to increase insulin sensitivity. Gramps had his test strips to pee onto and 2 shots of long acting insulin every 12 hours and that’s all he had. Yet, despite this, all of them lived into their 80’s. Now they did die from heart attacks. All of them died from massive heart attacks. I don’t know if having better tools to fight the Diabetes would have made a difference, but I think it would have. Also, they did not have good treatments for heart attacks back then. They all died in the early 80’s. But they lived a long time and with much poorer BG control than we have today.

Correlation does not equal causation. They used to think Amyloid Beta plaque was the cause of Alzheimer’s because all patients had it. Now they are saying something else causes it. Correlation does not equal causation in scientific study.

Welcome to the group. Type 2 , 28 years. Life is wonderful! Life changes with one step. Exercise is the best medicine. If you need to walk across a room, then do it 2 x’s. Every tv commercial standup and move. Then eventually go outside. My Dad had type 2 , lived into his mid eighties. It is what we choose. Welcome again! Nancy50

Your gonna be just fine.

ThinkThin bars did not give you diabetes. You got dealt a bad hand.

Some things will be frustrating as you learn to adapt. Give your self time and space to adjust. Lower your commitments and responsibilities, to the degree that you can, in order to make room for adjustment while you figure things out. You will develop new skills you didn’t know that you had. You will become a different, more sophisticated person than you might otherwise have been. Embrace it. Its gonna be fine. But, its gonna take some work. You can do it. You will feel better once you figure it out. Make space in your life to take care of your physical body and your soul. That will make a big difference in the long run.

We are here anytime you have questions.

-29 year type 1

Wow. That’s a thought, and there are so many possible responses.

Honestly, by the time we are adults, we are left with this sense that outcomes are purely dependent on our actions. They aren’t. So much of our life is dictated by our circumstances, happenstance, and luck. I am lucky to have as few complications as I do, but I certainly did nothing consciously that gave me Type 1 diabetes, and some of the best actions I’ve taken for my diabetes had nothing to do with the illness and were in trying to deal with other situations.

  • I weighed 175 pounds on a 6’4" frame, worked out 5 times a week, and ate an ovo-lacto vegetarian diet when I started developing hypertension in my late 20’s. Certainly not an outcome that I expected. The positive thing that I have done is take my medication, work out, and watch my weight, and have done so for the past 30 years.

  • Mentally, I decided early that my life was likely going to be shorter and that I would likely die of a heart attack since, besides the effect of TYpe 1 diabetes, it runs in my family. Almost no one in my family dies of cancer. That said, biting the bullet, knowing that life was going to be tougher, has been a good outlook for me. I made so many positive choices to avoid the potential negatives.

  • Like yourself, I’ve recently developed neuropathy in my feet, nothing extreme, tingling and a minor loss of sensation in one foot, One of the contributors to that is my height. normally not a bad thing, but a likely contributor in my case, exacerbated by my tendency to really pound my feet on long hikes through Manhattan.

  • A former, highly-respected endocrinologist of mine wisely mentioned to me, when I was putting the blame on myself for variations in my control, that diabetes management is a lot less science than I realized. In essence, we try, but there are always variations, things beyond our control.

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Being of bit a devil’s advocate, you’ve just been handed the worst and best news of your life. Someone has told you a truth, or at least something negative. Would it be any different if you weren’t told? Life would simply go on, but now with this news you can make positive choices, and in fact, you can decide to have a successful, or at least, more successful life.

Success, for me in this case, depends on what you do with that information. Blaming yourself won’t help you succeed or manage this situation. It might be important to understand how you got to this state or stage in life. Sure, some of this was based on bad choices, but not ThinkThin bars, and some of those choice come from the people around you, the world you live in. Much of this is just genetics, the proliferation of fast food, TV, and advertising, your families’ habits, and your friends’ habits.

In fact, the choice you make now can only make your life better. If you don’t adopt better habits, the diabetes only gets worse, and the only positive is happiness from ‘ignorance is bliss’.

  • Diet: Find enjoyable and healthy ways to eat.

  • Fitness - Decide to become a fitness buff, whatever ‘floats your boat’, and if you are smart, find ways that enhance your social and mental well-being. Fitness is good for everything.

  • Medications - If you need to take medication, you do, since they can enhance your life, as well as prolong it.

You might already do all of this, but if you don’t, making your life better is succeeding. Not choosing a better life is failure.