Can You Die From Diabetes?

grim reaperCan you die from diabetes? Sure. But let’s not be overly morbid, here. You can die from just about anything. If treated properly and you take care of yourself, there is no reason that you can’t live a long and healthy life with diabetes.

And, there’s no reason you can’t live longer than most people without diabetes. In fact, my grandmother had type 1 diabetes and lived well into her late 80’s!

This was long before we had many of the wonderful technological advances we have today, including the Internet (great source of information), glucose meters, and modern blood sugar medications.

What are the Dangers?


Diabetes is all about controlling your blood sugar levels. Type 1 diabetes (and some with type 2) requires a person to take insulin to process glucose. If these people do not take insulin, then the glucose cannot be processed.

This can lead to a condition called hyperglycemia or high blood sugar. The danger with hyperglycemia is that it can progress to ketoacidoses, diabetic coma and ultimately death if left untreated. Initial symptoms (if any) can be excessive thirst, fatigue, blurry vision, frequent urination and an upset stomach (if very high). Ketoacidosis symptoms are shortness of breath, fruity smelling breath, nausea, vomiting, and a very dry mouth.

Can you die from diabetes? I guess we now know that the answer is yes. BUT, while this is a very serious result, normal insulin intake, proper blood sugar monitoring and healthy living should avoid this drastic result!


The other serious condition that can result is just hypoglycemia. This is where your blood sugar drops too low. Most instances of this condition are mild and are easily solved by consuming some glucose rich foods. However, if left untreated, coma and death can result.
Click here for a list of hypoglycemia symptoms.

General Care

Hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia are the two main “quick death” scenarios. However, death from these two conditions is very remote. You would have to seriously neglect the warning signs to succumb to diabetes in this manner.

Slow death, over many years, is arguably more common. But cheer up, everyone, including those without diabetes, is on the slow death program. Those with diabetes, however, need to exercise a bit more control over the process to avoid speeding it up or suffering from a diminished quality of life.

As noted above, diabetes is all about regulating one’s blood sugar levels. The problem is that even slightly elevated blood sugar over time can wreck havoc on your body’s systems including the nervous, cardiovascular, endocrine, etc. The complications from poor blood sugar control are numerous. I will let you review the morbid statistics at your leisure.

However, all of these risks can be lowered, if not avoided altogether. Exercise and proper diet are your best friends in avoiding these so called, Slow Death Traps.

So, can you die from diabetes? Sure, but by paying attention to what you eat and getting some moderate exercise, you should live a long and healthy life, just like my grandmother!

By Erich Schultz – Last Reviewed April 2013.