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Diabetes - Type 2 Community
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Avatar universal

How long can a 60 year old Type 2 diabetes patient live for?

Hello

My father is 60 years old with type 2 diabetes. He does NOT take care of himself, does not exercise, sits on his computer all day, eating and drinking whatever he wants (mostly sugary foods), and takes insulin injections.

We have tried getting him into a routine for exercise, regular testing, swimming, change of diet but to no avail. Instead he gets moody,angry and sometimes violent.

He has massive mood swings and anger outbursts at the most random of times.

We are concerned about his well being and need to know if he can be saved and how muh time he has left because his lifestyle is too wild for a 60 year old man with Type 2 diabetes. Please help.

Thanks and Best regards
Hammad
4 Responses
4851940 tn?1515698193
The massive mood swings and anger outbursts are likely to be because of his sugar levels not being stable, falling too low or getting a bit on the high side.

Find information about the dangers of uncontrolled sugar levels in the blood stream with having diabetes and leave them in the house where he can see the literature.  Don't go on at him, just leave the leaflets or books on diabetes and with a bit of luck when he is on his own, he will pick it up and read it.  Leaflets with pictures of amputations may shock him into being serious and taking more control.

It may be that he is suffering from depression now and this eating is actually "binge eating" due to the depression.

If you make an appointment for him to see the doctor and told your dad that the doctor wants to see him, will he go?

He is playing with his health.  If he does not get serious and take control of his diabetes, even with insulin and other diabetic medications, he will get nerve damage if he does not already have this.  This is felt as pins and needles and also burning sensations and can be felt anywhere, but mainly under the feet.  He will lose loss of sensations in the skin and in his genitals if he still engages in sexual pleasures.  

He will get skin problems, with severe fungal infections on his genitals and inside of the thighs.  Not easy to treat.

He can damage his eyesight.  The blood vessels in the back of the eye gets damaged and can cause blindness.  This is called diabetic retinopathy.  He should have his eyes checked with an optician who does diabetic screening at least once a year.  They can detect if there is any damage in the small blood vessels  in the back of the eye.  Sometimes laser treatment is offered, but if the blood vessels rupture too close to the optic nerve, it is too risky to use laser treatment.

Uncontrolled sugar diabetes can also cause problems with circulation leading to gangrene and amputation of lower limbs.  I have seen this happen in my husband's grandmother who was 90 and also in 2 young women who lost their lives because of complications through having diabetes.

Through the diabetes, his kidneys can get damaged, he could get frequent kidney infections and worst of all kidney failure and death.

The above things can happen to any age group of people who have diabetes.

He seems to have the belief that as long as he takes his medications he will be fine - this is very wrong, it does not work like that.

He still needs to have a healthy a well balanced diet with fresh fruit and vegetables, lean meat, fish.  He can still have a sugary treat, but this needs to be a small portion and not something that he can stuff himself with all the time.

He also needs to have plenty of fluids and especially water.  2 litres of water a day is usually recommended, more if he is sweating a lot.  If he is under the direction of the urologist, then follow the consultant's advice.

He needs to have a regular check up with his doctor to ensure that he is controlling his diabetes.  He should ask the doctor to refer him to a dietician who specialises in dealing with people with diabetes so that he can learn how to manage his diabetes and healthy eating.

Go on the web and look at the different foods and menus with regard to healthy cooking - cutting down of fats, avoiding sugar or reducing the amount that you use.  Learn about healthy options and what you can offer your father rather than the sugary snacks.

Offer him nuts, a handful of raisins, a piece of fruit.  Eating a whole fruit is better than the juice because the fruit also contains fibre and the sugar levels will not go up as much.

Change the way you cook your meals, use less fat, less sugar, lean meat, lots of vegetables, this will slowly release the energy and it may curb his cravings for sweet things.

Ensure that his breakfast contains as little sugar as possible.  If he likes porridge that is a good slow release food.  Don't pile too much food on his plate at meal times, and offer him a healthy snack in between each meal so that his sugar levels do not drop too low and will be kept more stable.

Low sugar levels can cause hypoglycaemia.  Having high sugar levels can also be very dangerous.  

With either one of these, if the sugar levels drop too low or goes up too high, he can fall into a coma.

If your father does not go to help with shopping, don't buy the sugary sweets, cakes, fizzy drinks.  Buy more healthy foods - fresh fruit, vegetables and salads, nuts, seeded brown bread.  If the tempting sugary sweets are not in the house, he will have not choice but to choose a more healthy option.  Just stay out of the way if he starts to yell for you to go and buy him something :)

A celery stick with some peanut butter or low fat cream cheese in the hollow of the celery stick is one good healthy option.

Going for a walk or any type of exercise that he likes, would help him to burn up some energy to help control his sugar levels.

How long was he diagnosed as being diabetic?  It seems that he does not realise the seriousness of this illness or he is refusing to accept that he has this very serious problem.

Try and persuade him to agree for you to book an appointment for him to see his doctor.  He needs to have a HbA1C blood test.  This will give the average glucose reading over a period of 12 weeks and will give your doctor a better picture how your dad is controlling his diabetes. Suggest a referral to a dietician, and discreetly (perhaps leave a message with the doctor before the appointment) about the moods swings so that the doctor can find out if this is because of the diabetes or whether it is due to depression.

Best of luck.
Avatar universal
I can really understand your Dad's problem. I'm 60 too & found out I was diabetic 3 yrs ago & now with a new aortic valve I'm really getting hammered to change my diet. First off can your Dad afford to eat "right" this why I don't. Plus its hard as we age to to drascilly charge are food habits. Have you tried cooking the right stuff for your dad or tried to get him to go to senior exercise group? just trying to help.
4851940 tn?1515698193
Your post should be directed to  hammad28.

My dad who is 86 does not have diabetes.
My mother who has had diabetes since the age of 45 and is on Metformin and insulin injections is 85 years of age.  My mother's diabetes was not diagnosed until she had her eyes routinely checked that the optician asked "Do you have diabetes?"  This set alarm bells for me and I got my mother checked out.  She was diagnosed as having Type 2 diabetes and the damage in the eyes was already there.  She was lucky not to have lost her eye sight, but has had 3 lots of laser treatments.

My husband's granny died at the age of 92 and she had Type 2 diabetes.  But because she must have had diabetes for long time without it being diagnosed and at the age of 90, she collapsed one Xmas after eating her meal and a fresh cream cake.  She got gangrene in her foot and had to have her leg amputated to the knee.  She lived another 2 years after she had a leg amputated and died at the age of 92.

If you dad continues eating and drinking the way he is and not changing his lifestyle and not doing any type of exercise (walking is just fine), then he can only blame himself when circulation problems happen that lead to gangrene and to amputation of his toes/feet or legs; loses his eye sight or suffers from nerve damage which is loss of sensations of touch, pins and needle sensations in the legs and feet.  

Avatar universal
your dad sounds exactly like myself!  I am 58 , and diagnosed with type 2 diabetes  5 yrs ago. The mood swings that your dad is experiencing are from the uncontrollable high blood sugars! Not adhering to a special diet is wear and tear on the body! Ask your Dad if he wants to "Live"? I am living in a situation where my blood sugar literally goes up and down like a yoyo. Ask your dad if he wants to go blind, or if he wants to lose a couple of limbs?  "Your Dad" has to be the one to change his ways, not you!  Tell your that you want him around for you!  60 years old is too young to throw his life away! My dad was also a diabetic and my dad died of kidney failure from diabetes and my Dad was 90yrs. Old! He ate everything wrong and he was healthy up until he was 89.  To make things worse my dad was a Doctor, a specialist in Family practice!  Everyone is different, no one has a right to tell you that your dad will have a short life!  My dad was on Metformin and also insulin when his sugar went to high!  I am on Metformin  and no insulin, my sugar has been 200 everyday & I have people constantly yelling at me! I just took my blood sugar and I am happy, it was a 189. It's below 200, that's good enough for me! It's hard to stick to no sugar.  My dad lived to 90yrs. Old, never did he ever have a special diet for diabetes! Keep that in mind! Diabetes is a bad disease-my theory is its the luck of the draw on who lives long or who dies young!
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