Diabetes - Type 1 Community
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Avatar universal

what is the oldest living person with type 1

I was wondering how old is the oldest living person with type 1 diabetes?  More important how long has this person been a type 1? I am 42 years old and was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at age 2.  I have many complications now.  I'm surprised I made it this long.
47 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi!  I'm sorry to hear about your complications.  I can't find any specific record of age, but I do have a good friend who is 74 and was diagnosed at age 9.  I've heard stories of people in their 90's.  It's all about how well you manage your disease.
Avatar universal
my mum is 54 and been type 1 diabetic since she was 30, thats 24 years with no coplications.
On the other hand, i'm 19 and am diabetic (type 1 as well) since i was 9, 10 years WITH complications, my legs have been damaged.
Avatar universal
Not only does tight control make a difference in whether people get complications or not, but there seems to be some genetic component, too. Some folks who take excellent care of their glucose numbers get complications, while some who are more lax don't. However, studies have proven that tight control DOES help prevent complications no matter whether you are one of the "lucky" ones or not.
Avatar universal
Thank you for your answers.  But how does someone with type 1 in their 90's achieve the goal of taking care of themselves?  I've had this disease for 40 years.  Since the age of 2.  I know there was nothing for diabetics back then.  One shot of NPH was normal, and testing your urine was a way to guess what your blood sugar was.  Now...if you had a full bladder for a few hours, the test results were wrong.  Maybe 2 hours ago your sugar was high.  But 2 hours later you are having a hypo.  But the urine test showed your sugar being high.  I know I was in denial for over 30 years.  I never took care of myself.  Maybe this is why I have complications.  But a few of my type 1 friends never took care of themselves either.  They have no complications.  So who knows if it is genetics?  It certainly can't hurt keeping your blood sugars under control though.
Avatar universal
Part of my friend's longevity he credits to luck, but also to a fanatical parent who banned sugar from their house.  His family changed their lifestyle to support the changes required.  They used every since management principle for diabetes that they could, and stuck to them religiously.  Taking care of yourself is what gets you to old age as a diabetic.
Avatar universal
It's funny that this question just came to me out of the blue.  Next year my parents will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary. My mom has always said how against dad's family was of the marriage because they told him she would always be sick and likely never have children.  Mom was 9 when diagnosed.  She did have trouble carrying pregnancies to term but there were 4 of us that made it.

Mom is going to be 75 in Feb.  She wears reading glasses only.  She has all of her teeth and all of her toes.  She takes great care of herself...so great that us kids never knew she even had it.  Yes, she has had complications and jumps on each one.  She also tries "new" procedures as they come up.  One thing she said to me once is that she does not like to go to the hospital where doctors try to tell her she's doing everything "wrong" and she ends up getting all screwed up.  She's been doing it long enough to know her own body.

But anyway, I was also curious a to how old the oldest is because my mom is quite proud of her status as "one of the oldest".
Avatar universal
My father lived to 77 years of age, and was T1 since his teens. He suffered very little in the way of diabetic complications. I'm hoping the same will be the case for my son, T1 since 2years of age.
My father had a regular routine as a dental surgeon, did no formal exercise, drove everywhere, and drank in moderation most nights. He also smoked for all of his adult life.
Avatar universal
I think I may have found the oldest people with diabetes.  <a href="http://professionaled.joslin.org/1083_2713.asp" target=_blank>Robert Cleveland and Gerald Cleveland</a> are brothers in their 90s and have dealt with diabetes for over 70 years each.
Avatar universal
I turn 52 on July 14. I have had type 1 diabetes since I was 1.5 years of age. I'm having some complications but continue to fight it everyday.
Avatar universal
The October 2008 issue of Diabetes Forecast lists some folks who have had type 1 for well over 60 yrs., It's quite inspirational. I've had type 1 for 38 yrs. diagnosed at age 7 and thankfully have only some mild retinopathy.
Avatar universal
i was diagnosed with type 1 diabetic at age 7, i am now 54yrs old had a really nice life, ate everthing they told me not to eat still no complications. i guest i'm just one of the fortunate ones THANK GOD.
711096 tn?1229360224
I have been type 1 for over 34 years and no serious complications.  I do stay pretty active and try to stay on top of my control, but..... I think that is difficult for anyone.

The recent advances in insulin therapy definitely make it somewhat easier, than the old test your urine days.

But in answer to the question check out this link.  I found the story interesting



Avatar universal
I'm reading this from Roatan, Honduras where I am vacationing with my 91 year old father, a type 1 diabetic since his youth.  Getting old but still healthy.
Avatar universal
for god sake
take care of your diabetes live your life
and let it be
dont be so morbid about it
its your fault you didnt take care of it
and now your dealing wiht your problems
other people should use you as an example
sorry to be so harsh
Avatar universal
Boy are you uneducated about the disorder.  First of all, type 1 and type 2 are completely the opposite.  Where type 2 is most likely the result of poor eating habits and lack of exercise, type 1 is by birth.  I have been a diabetic for 47 years.  No complications and I try to watch everything I do to take care of myself.  The only thing that makes me so angry in life is to hear someone say 'you caused this so deal with it".  I didn't cause it, I was born with it, my pancreas has never worked and I have dealt with it the best that I can with education and compassion of a lot of excellent doctors.  Learn about a disease before you condemn all people with it as something they "did to themselves."
Avatar universal
Wow, finally something and people I can relate to.  There is no one in my area but me at my age with Juvenile Diabetes.  My doctor tells me I should be extinct.  I have been a juvenile diabetic since the age of 6.  I am now 56, so 50 years so far.  I am doing quite well.  I have been married for 38 years, have two adopted children and have four grandchildren.  I work 50-60 hours a week at a very stressful job.  People often will say, "You can't be diabetic, you are too thin."  I weigh 95 pounds and am 5' 1 1/2".  Even my health insurance company drives me nuts.  Join this group, read this pamphlet and tell us if this helps control your diabetes.  It's always based on if you lose this much weight you can control your disease.  Good grief, I know more about this disease than any doctor I've ever gone to, except for my first pediatrician, who was way beyond his time on how to manage juvenile diabetes.  I am not alone!
Avatar universal
Hi! I'm a 40 year old who's been T1 since the age of 6. Just wanted to say that I came across this site by accident and after reading the comments it has really inspired me to practise better control and given me confidence in the future.To be honest i have been in denial of my diabetes for 25 years; erratic blood sugar levels, and just not taking care of myself ( apart from doing a lot of physical exercise on a daily basis).I have changed all that in the last year by keeping tight control of my blood sugar levels. I have some mild retinopathy and sometimes some tingling in my toes but aim to be around for another 40 years.thanks, marcus
Avatar universal
Hi zoeysgram, I'm Zoe! Congratulations on managing this disease for so long and well!

My situation is a bit different, I'm 60 but wasn't diagnosed until I was 58! I was misdiagnosed at that time as Type II but was recently confirmed to be Type 1.5/LADA. LADA is more like Type I than Type II. They believe 15% of Type 2's are misdiagnosed because they are older so people assume they are Type II. Yep, docs don't know everything!

I also go to the website *********.com and a man there who has been T1 for 63 stories has a syndicated story on the site of his life and management of diabetes that is quite interesting. I feel lucky that if I had to get this disease I got it today when there is so much more understanding of how to manage it. Great thread!
Avatar universal
It is also a  bit about attitude, have a good attitude ,don't worry about it, be happy, thank God for every new day and remember there is always somebody that is in worst conditions. so live your life and have FUN!!
Avatar universal
I have been diabetic since age 10 and am now 49 yrs old.  I agree with many who say attitude is everything, along with parents who educated themselves and me during my childhood and sent me to diabetes camp. My friends kept a watchful eye on me as well.  Education, constant blood sugar montitoring when it became available and watching for potential downfalls has kept me healthy and working full time (and more) and blessed with three children.  Sure, I get down sometimes but my family, friends and kids keep me going.  You have to control your diabetes...don't let it control you.  Laugh a lot and surround yourself with people who care.
Avatar universal
My father, who is now 68 years old, was diagnosed with type one juvenile diabetes when he was six.

His parents, his mother in particular, became dedicated to learning all they could and teaching my father to take care of himself. They changed the way they ate and lived to care for him as a youngster.

As an adult he attended university, married, fathered two children, and worked until his mid 60's. Now he is retired. His vision is giving him trouble, with small blood vessels bursting in the eye and needing to be removed with laser surgery. He has all of his fingers and toes and is (TMI WARNING) still able to be sexually active with the little blue pill as an assist.

A recent hospitalization after a auto collision brought home to us how little most of the medical community knows about type one. His stay was a week long nightmare of trying to get the kitchen to deliver low carb no sugar meals (BBQ chicken slathered in a brown sugar sauce does not count as just a protein! A cup of corn is not just a vegetable!) and arguing about blood sugar tests and insulin amounts and timing.

On the final day, as they were releasing him, he had one more frustrating conversation with the doctor, who finally said something that made it clear to my father that they had been treating him as a type two all that time. The doctor was flabbergasted to be dealing with such a "elderly patient" in such good condition, with type one.

I don't know how long my father will live, but I agree with those here who say that careful control, advocating for yourself with the medical community and then living your life with a can do attitude will go along way towards quality of life over the long haul.
Avatar universal
There are a lot of comments here and over a few years so adding my little bit and hello to everyone.
I cant answer the original question as I don't know who the oldest type 1 is, although its been answered anyway.
I have been diabetic since 14 and am now 42. Despite offending people I knew when I was in my 20's I thought by the time I was 40 I would be unwell, needing to be looked after, not wanting my children to have to take care of me so maybe not wanting to be around.
Now I'm in my 40's thanks very much but I would like to say in 20 years that I made it to my 60's. If I can get to the age of some of the people described above, I will be very happy. Well done to all those people.
I can't say I have been well behaved, far from it. I don't have too many problems but having some eye issues late last year made me realise what I was doing to myself and after all this time now actually want to do things right, not just because a Dr told me to.
Took me far too long but better late than never I guess.
Avatar universal
It's really great to hear of all these long living diabetic people. I'm 50 and was diagnosed type 1 when I was 17. So far I have nearly always worked full time - earlier as a nurse and more recently as a primary teacher. I have one beautiful daughter now 19 and I suppose that's why I asked the question of life expectancy. She is at uni and plans to be a Lawyer so lots more years before grand children. I don't think I have any complications though I do visit the doctor more regularly now for the type of things that everybody gets. My biggest problem now is weight gain due to inactivity and work related stress. How do you motivate yourself at 50 to keep on with the much needed exercise. I feel that physical activity is the key to a healthy existence but don't have the energy to keep it up! Long life and good health to us all!!
Avatar universal
I have been diabetic since age 4 and am 45 now. I am and have been 5'7", 135 lbs for 20+ years and have had no complications. New eye doctor I went to last year is amazed at how good my eyes are with having diabetes so long. Treatment sure has changed a lot over the years.
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