Apologies firstly for this not so happy question but recently seen my diabetes consultant who because i am now 41 and have a cholesterol of 5.0 brought up my need to begin statins to reduce. When i said i wasnt interested (heard about affecting muscles) he mentioned i have a reduced life expectancy by 15 - 20 yrs which really shook me up. I was thinking if all goes well being lucky to avoid complications i would live a full life comparable with a non diabetic - I have been insulin dep diabetic 27 yrs and never knew this. Is this true? and with a newly born daughter 3 weeks ago feel worried as to what the future may bring for her and me.
When I was first diagnosed, as a kid, someone told me that diabetics live about 10 years less than the average person (which, thanks!). I know that was years ago, and that person probably had no idea what she was talking about, but that’s stuck with me. To this day, I’m almost certain I won’t live past 50, mainly because of the diabetes, and I figure I might not make it to 40. (But then I’m one of those sad-sack depressed people, which probably affects my outlook.)
I know a lot of people can and do live a long time with diabetes (we have a guy on this board who’s had it for 60some years). I have no idea if it’s genetics or what. Last time I saw him, my endo told me that, actually cholesterol and blood pressure levels were better indicators of life expectancy among diabetics than A1C levels were. But, I guess, you don’t know when you’re going to die till the moment you do. I’d try to live as if you have plenty of time but plan as if you don’t (as sappy as that sounds).
Yup, sad sack here too. With a sense of humor, of course.
I was diagnosed in 1988 at 8, and I was convinced that I was not going to make it to 25. I did, and am in better health than I was at 18. Regardless, it’s one of those things that’s always in some corner of your mind, and only rears it’s head when you let it (oh man, like right now!).
Mary Tyler Moore- she’s “up there” and one of the most famous diabetic faces I can think of. There’s Wilford Brimley too, but is he even diabetic? Or am I only including him because of the way he pronounces “diabetes”?
Remember: spirits and humor up…
that may be the most brilliant thing I’ve ever heard… You live as long as you want to. grin. I’m using that one…
Check out this discussion, which shows that more recent research shows that well-controlled type 1 diabetes can have a much better future than past statistics estimated!
I was totally against taking any cholesterol lowering drugs too. I am a 39 yo T1…dxd’ in 1995. However, after talking with my endo, he said it was easier to prevent heart disease than treat it once you got it, so I figured I should take the pill. I do and my levels are great now. When I was first diagnosed 14 years ago, everyone was so encouraging. All the docs and diabetes educators told me I could and would live a normal life. And, I have. I’ve had two successful pregnancies and now two healthy kids, 11 and 8 years old. Congrats on your new baby! Keep taking care of yourself and enjoy!!
As has been said good control that has become possible in the last 25 years or so has changed the statistics quite a bit. That idea was based on results from years ago, and should probably be updated to a lot smaller difference from normal lifespan, though I suppose the wear and tear factor of living with diabetes makes SOME difference. then again I’m healthier than my 3 siblings, so who can say for sure?
Put it this way, when I was diagnosed on April 9, 1956 we were told that I MIGHT hope to live for about 20 years, with worsening complications toward then end. Her it is 53 years later, and I have no real complications except minor foot neuropathy.
I meant to go to that doctors funeral, but we’d moved too many times and lost track of him,
Congratulations on your New Baby Girl. May she be Blessed and have her Daddy for a Very long time.
I was also supposed to be blind at age 19 and Kaput by age 30-35. Hasn’t happened yet(touch wood). With all the new technology, knowledge that the Drs. have gained and knowledge and support from Diabetes Communities such as TuDiabetes, Diabetics are living longer.
One thing though is that Diabetics(not all) may be prone to other diseases that could knock some years off of a Diabetic’s Life or the drugs for these diseases. I’m grateful that I have made it this far. Try not to worry. Enjoy your Family and the Good things in your Life. There are so many People with Diabetes who are living longer than was expected 20 years ago.
Though my cholesterol had never been out of the acceptable “non-diabetic range”, my endocrinologist wanted it lower because I supposedly have risk factors for coronary disease( African-American, middle-aged, diabetic. )Most diabetics in his practice are routinely prescribed statins at some point, the CDE ( Certified Diabetes Educator) in his practice told me. My doctor continued to tell me that I could not get LDL below 70 without statins, but my test results proved other wise. :
I take 2-3 , 300 mg omega-3 capsules daily. As of 5/22/2009, lipid panel test results showed HDL cholesterol at 124. LDL at 51: I take NO STATINS, as they gave me a myriad of symptoms( side effects) that I did not like…
If you can buyOmega-3 capsules( I use the flaxeed-based ones, but fish oil Omega-3 capsules also worked for me ) over the counter in the UK, try them and see what happens. If you do not get acceptable numbers ( I do not know the scale in the UK), consider the statins.
Also, Consider having a test for C–reactive protein, which is an indicator of inflammation in the body .There is a correlation between less risk for cardiovascular disease with a low C-reactive protein level: Mine is .2, which is considered optimum and puts me at a negligible risk for cardiovascular incidents.
I agree with the other posters about diabetic lifespan: What the consultant told you is based on outdated info and evidence. By the way. I am 41 years w/type one and complication-free. Check out Danny’s blog listed above for others like me: I am happy and healthy.
Talk to Richard V. 61 years with Diabetes and has minor complications. He has only been pumping for a couple of years. He is living proof that we can have a great long life.
I hope Richard sees this and offers his input.
Congrats on the new daughter. My grandmother had type 2 and lived to 92 and my grandfather type 1 and lived to 83 but only because he chose not to follow doctors orders. So set aside the worries, live life to it’s fullest and enjoy every moment with your family. Regardless of how long we live, life is too short to waste it on worrying about how much time we have left on the planet.
Thanks Cathy, was great to hear your positive thoughts this morning, feels like i need to hear more like this. Chris
What is your HDL/LDL ratio? that is the important one…you can run high cholesterol lvls as long as that ratio is at a certain lvl. Statins are bad for you…who on NHS or on private is telling you this, you need to change them
Easy way to run your HDL higher is to eat almonds, avocado, fish (salmon/tuna)
My family practice doc, whom I love, told me a couple of years ago that he’s taking a new look at all of the “reduces the risk” claims of medications. It turns out that some drugs make claims that they can “reduce the risk” of getting whatever by 25% (or whatever percentage) – but since the risk of getting whatever was so low in the first place, reducing that risk means almost nothing. For example, if diabetics have a 4% higher risk or developing whatever health condition, reducing that risk by 25% means that they’d have a 3% risk.
Reducing risk is a good thing, but it must be balanced by the consideration of the side effects of medications as well as their costs.
I’m adding a “me, too” to the folks who’ve said that your consultant is operating from old data. One nice thing about the debate about diabetes during the nomination of Sonya Sotomayor to the Supreme Court was that the life expectancy issue was more public – and the media reported that with modern treatments/knowledge diabetics have a much longer life expectancy than previously thought.
hi chris , i am ravinder from india , aged 35 , i am typ1 diabetic since 20 years , i put the same question 2 days ago , i got same type of replies as tdy , so conclusion is all diabetic persons are not going to die before 80, years so enjoy ur life , i have also 5 year old diabetic daughtre , i have to take care of herself too. control ur bg that u can do rest is dependent on mighty “GOD”
Thanks Ravinder, i really appreciated your comments which has helped me feel new optimism. Chris