News on Wellness

You Can Live Long Lives Even With Type 1 Diabetes

Louise Steel, 68, says she was distraught when diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 18, but chose 'to live a good life.'

The long lives of people with Type 1 diabetes have inspired doctors in Toronto to investigate their cases. These people have lived more than 50 years after getting the disease. According to the Canadian Diabetes Association, the life expectancy for those with Type 1 diabetes was expected to get shortened by 15 years, quite contrary to the practical application. In order to know the secret of their long lives a group of Canadian researchers have conducted a study using a group of patients.

Louise Steel, 68, says she was distraught when diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 18, but chose 'to live a good life.'

Louise Steel, 68, says she was distraught when diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 18, but chose ‘to live a good life.’

Dr. Bruce Perkins is leading the group who is researching on Diabetes Longevity. They are studying life of Canadians who have lived with Type 1 diabetes for 50 years and more. This is the first Canadian study of such nature.

According to Perkins and his team, availability of better insulin is the main reason for longevity of life. Advancement in technology such as insulin pumps and continual glucose monitors, excellent health care and social supports all have increased the lifespan of diabetic patients.

The study shows that 1 in 10 people have Type 1 diabetes. One of the participants in the study is Louise Steel, 68, from Toronto. She was diagnosed with diabetes at 18 but learned to accept and deal with it. Steel can relate to the initial worries that people feel when they are initially diagnosed and is now happy to help those who are newly diagnosed. She walks five kilometers per day and keeps a positive outlook.

Steel said: “You either take your insulin or you don’t, you have a choice, so take your insulin. Live healthy. Live a good life or don’t live.”

The research is funded by the JDRF. The study is being carried out in collaboration with the Leadership Sinai Centre for Diabetes at Mount Sinai Hospital and the University Health Network in association with the Joslin Diabetes Center at Harvard Medical School. Perkins’s team is still recruiting people in the Toronto area for the second phase of the Diabetes Longevity Project.

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