Can You Die from Diabetes? Type 1 and Type 2 Life Expectancy

Diabetes is a disease which is caused either due to the lack of proper production of insulin by the pancreas or due to the improper use of insulin in the human body. This gives rise to the blood sugar level or the glucose level in the body as it is the hormone insulin which is responsible for the breakdown of the carbohydrates and the other essential nutrients in the food to release the much-needed energy by the cells. It is a disease which adversely affects the primary function of metabolism in the body thereby exposing our body to several other complications.

Diabetes affects different people in different manners and as such, it takes several forms. The most common type of diabetes is type 1 and type 2 diabetes. There are various factors and causes which contribute to each type and form of the disease.

Due to the several complications that are associated with this condition, diabetes is often considered a deadly disease that can kill you. It is not uncommon to hear of people who have died of diabetes in the past few years. In this article, we shall further deep dive into the various issues that diabetes accompanies and might lead to the death of the diabetic patient.

Can You Die from Diabetes

Table of Contents

How Long Can You Live with Diabetes?

It is not very uncommon to hear that diabetes will shorten the expected life of the concerned patient. But the question is: How much?

There are different opinions about the subject. As per a few types of research conducted, diabetes can shorten life by 8.5 years in a 50-year old individual. On the other hand, Diabetes UK estimates that the expected life span of type 1 diabetic patient is reduced by more than 20 years while a type 2 diabetes patient lives 10 years shorter as compared to the healthier counterparts.

Besides, the University of Pittsburg has estimated through various studies that people who are born after 1965 and are suffering from type 1 diabetes have a life expectancy of somewhere around 69 years.

Having said the above, we should not forget that with proper diabetes care and management, it is very much possible to extend the total life of a diabetes patient. In the following paragraphs, we shall dive into and analyze the causes and conditions which lead to deaths in the patients who suffer from the condition.

Read Here: Living with Diabetes, How Difficult it is? Everything You Need to Know

What is Diabetic Coma?

Diabetic coma is a situation in which the patient suffers from unconsciousness due to very high or very low blood sugar and glucose levels. Diabetic coma is a dangerous condition as it might even lead to the death of the patient concerned. It is therefore important to understand the causes behind the same.

Causes of Diabetic Coma

Following are the causes of diabetic coma:


You can suffer from hypoglycemia or low blood sugar if you have too much of insulin in your body or due to lack of food.

Diabetic Hyperosmolar Syndrome:

This is the condition when the blood glucose levels are too high. The excess sugar makes its way to the urine through the blood and this process drains away a lot of useful fluids from the blood. This condition might lead to diabetic coma by causing excessive dehydration. This condition is most common in middle-aged people who usually suffer from type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes Ketoacidosis:

This is a condition when ketones get accumulated in the body. This happens when there is a lack of energy in the muscle cells of the body and the stored fat of the body may then be utilized.

Read here: Why is There Hyperkalemia in Diabetic Ketoacidosis?

This condition is most common in those who suffer from type 1 diabetes condition.

Complications Which Might be a Cause of Worry for Diabetes:

The following complications in diabetes might be a factor why people should beware and treat diabetes in the most effective manner.

Kidney Disease:

As per the American Diabetes Association, 44 percent of the diabetes patients tend to suffer from serious kidney disorders.

Heart-Related Condition:

There are several heart-related diseases which might affect our body if we suffer from diabetes. The blood vessels and the nerves supplying blood might get damaged resulting in serious conditions including death.

Nerve Damage:

The problem of high glucose and pressure levels can lead to damage in the various nerves of the body, including those that control the heart, kidney, arms, legs, amongst other nerves. When this condition occurs, there are chances that death might take place due to diabetes.

Diabetes Ketoacidosis:

Sometimes, there are chances that the problem of high blood glucose level might lead to high levels of ketone cells being developed in the body. This leads to the problem of Diabetes Ketoacidosis which is often very dangerous and might even lead to death.

Other Serious Complications:

Several other complications might lead to serious damage to the nerves and vessels leading to the death of diabetic patients. Some of these complications include gum diseases, amputations of different body parts, as well as other deadly complications.

Can You Die from Type 1 Diabetes?

There cannot be a sure shot answer to the question: “can you die from type 1 diabetes?” The reason for the above statement is that there are a lot of factors that shall determine the life expectancy of a diabetic patient.

The factors include the following:

  • The time frame within which the patient has been diagnosed with the condition.
  • The way in which the patient has been able to control his or her blood glucose and sugar levels.
  • The diabetic complications which the patient has been suffering from.
  • Several other environmental and other factors.

As per the reports released by the organization, Diabetes UK, those suffering from type 1 diabetes are known to live 15-20 years lesser as compared to those who are healthy and are not suffering from any such condition. However, with proper care and management, diabetes and blood glucose and sugar levels can be controlled and in the process, you will end up living a longer life than expected.

The causes that can lead to deaths in type 1 diabetes include:

  • “Dead in Bed” syndrome which usually occurs due to an episode of extremely low blood pressure while asleep and which often leads to death.
  • A few deaths might also occur due to heart strokes and failure.
  • Kidney failure could be another reason for death in these circumstances.

Can You Die from Type 2 Diabetes?

Another common type of diabetes is type 2. So, the question here is: can you die of type 2 diabetes? Well, it I not uncommon to hear about the deaths that occur due to type 2 diabetes. The common causes for the same include the following:

High Blood Glucose Levels:

You can have serious complications if you are unable to control the levels of blood glucose.

Lipid Disorders

According to the American Diabetes Association, a diabetic patient suffers from bad levels of cholesterol as well as the high-low density of lipoprotein. This, in turn, increases the chances of you getting several types of disorders including those related to the heart and kidney. These complications could ultimately cause death.

High Blood Pressure

If you are a diabetes patient, there are 70 percent chances that you will have high blood pressure issues. This, in turn, causes complications leading to the even death of the patient concerned.


If you are a diabetes patient and are into smoking, you might need to quit the habit at the earliest possible time. The reason being that being diabetic, smoking multiplies the complications involved, thereby leading to death and other concerns.

Ensuring a Long Life with Diabetes

Death is an unpleasant subject and no one wants to die of any disease. Hence, taking a certain precaution is a must as this can increase the life expectancy to a great extent. The following paragraphs deal with the subject as to how can you increase the life expectancy even if you suffer from a chronic condition like diabetes.

Hence, ensure a long life with diabetes by taking the following simple steps:

  • The first and foremost thing which is of prime importance in diabetes is to maintain healthy and recommended levels of blood glucose.In this regard, the following should be kept in mind:

The most important consideration, while you try to manage type 1 diabetes in your child is to regularly monitor the level of blood sugar or blood glucose. The following prescribed range of blood glucose should be kept in mind:

  • For a diabetic patient, the fasting blood sugar is under 126mg/dl or even higher.
  • As per the American Diabetes Association, the normal blood sugar for a diabetic should be around 80-130mg/dl before the meals and around 200mg/dl a couple of hours after meals.

The recommended levels for type 2 diabetes include:

  • For a diabetic patient, the fasting blood sugar is under 126mg/dl or even higher.
  • As per the American Diabetes Association, the normal blood sugar for a diabetic should be around 80-130mg/dl before the meals and around 200mg/dl a couple of hours after meals.
  • Losing weight and regular exercising will go a great deal in helping and managing diabetes.
  • There are herbal treatments available which might help in the treatment of diabetes. Some of the herbal at-home available treatments include fenugreek, cinnamon, okra, ginger, and garlic, amongst others.
  • Maintain a healthy diet with proper proportions of essential nutrients including carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and fiber.
  • Take adequate medications as prescribed. Sound sleep is also important for the medicines to work.
  • A few studies indicate that eating dark chocolate can help manage diabetes by reducing the risk of heart-related diseases.
  • Quit smoking and drinking.

We hope that the above post has been helpful in educating you as to how is it possible to lead a normal life and improve the life expectancy even if you are diabetic. With a few precautions and tips of lifestyle management, it is possible to live longer with diabetes effectively. Diabetes involves a lot of complications and as such, is it of prime importance that effective and good care is taken of the disease!!

Leave a Reply