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Can You Die From Type 2 Diabetes


What Should A Type 2 Diabetes Meal Plan Include

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Ask your healthcare provider or a nutritionist to recommend a meal plan thats right for you. In general, a Type 2 diabetes meal plans should include:

  • Lean proteins: Proteins low in saturated fats include chicken, eggs and seafood. Plant-based proteins include tofu, nuts and beans.
  • Minimally processed carbohydrates: Refined carbs like white bread, pasta and potatoes can cause your blood sugar to increase quickly. Choose carbs that cause a more gradual blood sugar increase such as whole grains like oatmeal, brown rice and whole-grain pasta.
  • No added salt: Too much sodium, or salt, can increase your blood pressure. Lower your sodium by avoiding processed foods like those that come in cans or packages. Choose salt-free spices and use healthy oils instead of salad dressing.
  • No added sugars: Avoid sugary foods and drinks, such as pies, cakes and soda. Choose water or unsweetened tea to drink.
  • Non-starchy vegetables: These vegetables are lower in carbohydrates, so they dont cause blood sugar spikes. Examples include broccoli, carrots and cauliflower.

Having Diabetes Means Your Body Isnt Producing Enough Insulin

People with type 2 diabetes typically have enough insulin when theyre first diagnosed. The insulin just isnt working properly. This means the insulin doesnt cause their cells to absorb glucose from food. Eventually the pancreas may stop producing enough insulin, so they will need injections.

Those with prediabetes often produce enough insulin, but the cells of the body are resistant to it. This means the sugar cant move from the blood into the cells. Over time, the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin to keep blood sugar levels in the normal range. This can cause you to progress from prediabetes to type 2 diabetes.

How Type 2 Diabetes Affects Life Expectancy

Diabetes and lifespan


Type 2 diabetes typically shows up later in life, although the incidence in younger people is increasing. The disease, which is characterized by high blood glucose , or hyperglycemia, usually results from a combination of unhealthy lifestyle habits, obesity, and genes. Over time, untreated hyperglycemia can lead to serious, life-threatening complications. Type 2 diabetes also puts you at risk for certain health conditions that can reduce your life expectancy.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , diabetes is the 7th most common cause of death in the United States. However, there is no defining statistic to tell you how long youll live with type 2 diabetes. The better you have your diabetes under control, the lower your risk for developing associated conditions that may shorten your lifespan.

The top cause of death for people with type 2 diabetes is cardiovascular disease. This is due to the fact that high blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels, and also because people with type 2 diabetes often have high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and other factors that increase the risk of heart disease.

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How Common Is Untreated Diabetes

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , nearly 25% of people with diabetes in the United States were not aware that they had the condition.


Diabetes occurs when your blood sugar, also called blood glucose, is too high . Blood glucose is your main source of energy and comes from the food you eat.

Your body produces a hormone called insulin that helps glucose from food get into your cells to be used for energy. However, sometimes your body doesnt make enoughor anyinsulin or doesnt use insulin well. As a result, the glucose you consumed stays in your blood and doesnt reach your cells.

High blood sugar level in the bloodstream can damage various body systems, leading to a wide array of health issues, like heart disease and foot problems. But with the correct treatment and lifestyle changes, many people with diabetes can prevent or delay the onset of these complications.

Type 2 Diabetes Complications

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Over time, high blood sugar can damage and cause problems with your:

  • Heart and blood vessels. Youâre up to five times more likely to get heart disease or have a stroke. Youâre also at high risk of blocked blood vessels and chest pain .
  • Kidneys. If your kidneys are damaged or you have kidney failure, you could need dialysis or a kidney replacement.
  • Eyes. High blood sugar can damage the tiny blood vessels in the backs of your eyes . If this isnât treated, it can cause blindness.
  • Nerves. This can lead to trouble with digestion, the feeling in your feet, and your sexual response.
  • Skin. Your blood doesnât circulate as well, so wounds heal slower and can become infected.
  • Pregnancy. Women with diabetes are more likely to have a miscarriage, a stillbirth, or a baby with a birth defect.
  • Sleep. You might develop sleep apnea, a condition in which your breathing stops and starts while you sleep.
  • Hearing. Youâre more likely to have hearing problems, but itâs not clear why.
  • Brain. High blood sugar can damage your brain and might put you at higher risk of Alzheimerâs disease.
  • Depression. People with the disease are twice as likely to get depressed as people who donât have it.

The best way to avoid these complications is to manage your type 2 diabetes well.


  • Take your diabetes medications or insulin on time.
  • Eat right, and don’t skip meals.
  • See your doctor regularly to check for early signs of trouble.

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Diabetic Coma Caused Due To Diabetic Hyperosmolar Syndrome

Diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome can cause diabetic coma. Diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome is determined in a person if the level of sugar in the blood is more than six hundred mg per deciliter . Blood turns syrupy and thick with larger sugar content. A lot of water supply is required in the body as the blood sugar enters the urine through the filtration process.

Diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome can be fatal if treatment is denied. It can also turn in to diabetic coma in some cases. Diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome is more recorded in mid age patients and older individuals. People who have both the types of diabetes are more likely to be affected by diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome.

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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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What Causes Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes develops when the pancreas makes less insulin than the body needs, and the body cells stop responding to insulin. They dont take in sugar as they should. Sugar builds up in your blood. When cells dont respond to insulin, this is called insulin resistance. It’s usually caused by:

  • Lifestyle factors, including obesity and a lack of exercise.
  • Genetics, or abnormal genes, that prevent cells from working as they should.

Whats The Difference Between Untreated Type 1 Diabetes And Untreated Type 2 Diabetes

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Type 1 diabetes is when your pancreas doesnt produce any insulin at all. If left untreated, it can cause atherosclerosis , heart disease, stroke, and eye and kidney diseases.


On the other hand, type 2 diabetes occurs when your pancreas doesnt produce enough insulin or your body cannot use insulin effectively. Uncontrolled type 2 diabetes can lead to vision loss, kidney failure, and lower limb amputation.

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Type 1 Vs Type 2 Diabetes: Whats The Difference

Type 2 diabetes is not the same as Type 1 diabetes. In Type 1 diabetes, your pancreas doesnt make any insulin. In Type 2, your pancreas doesnt make enough insulin, and the insulin it is making doesnt always work as it should. Both types are forms of diabetes mellitus, meaning they lead to hyperglycemia .

Type 2 diabetes usually affects older adults, though its becoming more common in children. Type 1 diabetes usually develops in children or young adults, but people of any age can get it.

What Is Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a lifelong disease that keeps your body from using insulin the way it should. People with type 2 diabetes are said to have insulin resistance.


People who are middle-aged or older are most likely to get this kind of diabetes. It used to be called adult-onset diabetes. But type 2 diabetes also affects kids and teens, mainly because of childhood obesity.

Type 2 is the most common type of diabetes. There are about 29 million people in the U.S. with type 2. Another 84 million have prediabetes, meaning their blood sugar is high but not high enough to be diabetes yet.

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Tips For Managing End

Keeping blood glucose levels within the target range may be difficult during this time and therefore is not as much of a priority at the end-of-life. Instead, youll ideally want to focus on the patients comfort, and doing what you can to manage the immediate symptoms associated with diabetes and accompanying comorbid and secondary conditions rather than worry about keeping blood sugars within a certain range.

How Long Can People With Diabetes Expect To Live

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Diabetes UK estimates in its report, Diabetes in the UK 2010: Key Statistics on Diabetes , that the life expectancy of someone with type 2 diabetes is likely to be reduced, as a result of the condition, by up to 10 years.


People with type 1 diabetes have traditionally lived shorter lives, with life expectancy having been quoted as being reduced by over 20 years.

However, improvement in diabetes care in recent decades indicates that people with type 1 diabetes are now living significantly longer.

Results of a 30 year study by the University of Pittsburgh, published in 2012, noted that people with type 1 diabetes born after 1965 had a life expectancy of 69 years.

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People With Diabetes Cant Eat Sweets

Theres no reason people with type 2 diabetes cant eat sweets, as long as they fit into a normal meal plan. However, try to eat small portions and include them with other foods. This can help slow down digestion. Highly sugared drinks and desserts are digested more quickly and can cause a quick spike in blood sugar level. When eaten in large quantities or by themselves, sweets can wreck havoc on your blood sugar.


What Are The Symptoms Of Dka

Beware the fruity breath. This tell-tale sign of diabetic ketoacidosis is caused by the body breaking down ketones, which become acetone which we then excrete through breathing. If you see someone whos breathing rapidly and their breath smells like fruit or a nail salon, they probably have DKA, says Dr. Klonoff.

Heavy breathing, known as Kussmaul breathing, is a reflex to try to bring up the pH that has gotten to be too low, according to Dr. Klonoff. Its named after Adolph Kussmaul, a German physician who first observed it in his patients with severe diabetes in 1874. You could be breathing really hard, and not even realize necessarily that youre doing it, Klonoff says.

Diabetic ketoacidosis affects the brain, making it work through what feels like mental sludge, according to Dr. Christofides. Confusion and irritability are major signs to watch out for.

As a result of your brain swelling, DKA can make you feel as if youre drunk and act just as irrationally. Ive seen situations where people have gotten into fights, or have become a risk to themselves physically, or had an intervention by law enforcement while driving because they appear to be acting drunk or are incoherent when stopped, says Dr. Christofides.

The main warning signs of DKA are:


  • Heavy breathing

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How Hospice Can Help With End

Hospice supports not just the patient, but the family and family caregiver, by providing a number of different services that help satisfy their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.

The Crossroads team consists of doctors, nurses, aides, social workers, and volunteers ready to help. If you would like to learn more, please select one of the contact options from the blue Help Center bar to speak with someone 24/7.

Are Some People More Likely To Develop Type 2 Diabetes Than Others

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A person who has a highly inflammatory diet and carries excess adiposity around their central organs is more likely to get type 2 diabetes, says Dr. Christofides. Excess weight and obesity are risk factors for type 2 diabetes, but how your body stores and manages weight can also be an early indicator of risk.


Research has shown that people who carry too much fat around their middle are more prone to health risks such as type 2 diabetes. Certain communities also show a greater propensity for developing type 2 diabetes, including people who are Black, Latinx, Asian, and Indigenous.

Factors that can put you at an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes include:

  • Genetic predisposition
  • Family history of diabetes and cardiovascular disease
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • A diet high in processed foods and added sugars
  • History of heart disease or stroke
  • Elevated triglyceride levels in your blood
  • Higher waist to hip ratio
  • Systemic inflammation

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Type 2 Diabetes In Children And Teens

Childhood obesity rates are rising, and so are the rates of type 2 diabetes in youth. More than 75% of children with type 2 diabetes have a close relative who has it, too. But its not always because family members are related it can also be because they share certain habits that can increase their risk. Parents can help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes by developing a plan for the whole family:

  • Drinking more water and fewer sugary drinks
  • Eating more fruits and vegetables
  • Making favorite foods healthier
  • Making physical activity more fun

Healthy changes become habits more easily when everyone makes them together. Find out how to take charge family style with these healthy tips.


What Are The Symptoms Of Type 2 Diabetes

Symptoms of Type 2 diabetes tend to develop slowly over time. They can include:

Rarely, Type 2 diabetes leads to a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis . DKA is a life-threatening condition that causes your blood to become acidic. People with Type 1 diabetes are more likely to have DKA.

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What Is A Diabetic Coma

Diabetic coma is a life-threatening emergency that can happen to you if you have diabetes. In a diabetic coma, youre unconscious and unable to respond to your environment. Youre either suffering from high blood glucose or low blood glucose . You need immediate medical attention if you go into a diabetic coma.

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The Science Of Diabetes Reversal

Can You Die From Diabetes Type 2

In 2019, the American Diabetes Association stated that reducing carbohydrate intake was the most effective nutritional strategy for improving blood sugar control in those with diabetes.18

Research shows that low-carb diets are a safe and effective option for treating type 2 diabetes. This body of evidence includes systematic reviews and meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials .19

A meta-analysis from 2017 found that low-carb diets reduced the need for diabetes medication and also improved certain bio-markers in people with type 2 diabetes. This included reductions in hemoglobin A1c , triglycerides, and blood pressure and increases in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, sometimes called the good cholesterol.20

Additionally, in a non-randomized trial from Virta Health, the intervention group of subjects with type 2 diabetes followed a very low-carb diet and received remote monitoring by physicians and health coaches. After one year, 94% of those in the low-carb group had reduced or stopped their insulin use. Furthermore, 25% had an HgbA1c in the normal range without needing any medications, suggesting their disease was in remission, and an additional 35% did the same with only metformin.21

At the two-year mark, a high proportion of subjects continued to demonstrate sustained improvements in glycemic control.22

This evidence suggests that type 2 diabetes does not have to be a progressive and irreversible disease. It is clearly a treatable disease.

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How Is Type 2 Diabetes Managed

Theres no cure for Type 2 diabetes. But you can manage the condition by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and taking medication if needed. Work with your healthcare provider to manage your:

  • Blood sugar: A blood glucose meter or continuous glucose monitoring can help you meet your blood sugar target. Your healthcare provider may also recommend regular A1c tests, oral medications , insulin therapy or injectable non-insulin diabetes medications.
  • Blood pressure: Lower your blood pressure by not smoking, exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet. Your healthcare provider may recommend blood pressure medication such as beta blockers or ACE inhibitors.
  • Cholesterol: Follow a meal plan low in saturated fats, trans fat, salt and sugar. Your healthcare provider may recommendstatins, which are a type of drug to lower cholesterol.

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