Many people are affected by diabetes however for the many people who are not affected by it diabetes is a disease that is not very well understood. The common knowledge is that it has to do with high blood sugar and this is true; but much of the other ‘knowledge’ associated with diabetes is nothing more than myth.
Diabetes myth #1: diabetes is caused by eating too much sugar and sweets. While this can contribute to causing risks for diabetes, eating sugary stuff alone does not cause diabetes. Diabetes is caused by a number of factors, including genetics, obesity, poor diet and inactivity as well as some other underlying medical conditions. Eating too much sugar can contribute to bringing the weight up, a risk factor for diabetes. But not all people who eat a lot of sugars are destined to have diabetes.
Diabetes myth #2: diabetics can’t eat sweets. Diabetics CAN enjoy sweet stuff, only they have to be more careful about the amount they consume. If diabetics plan on consuming sweets after a meal, some pre-planning might be required to make sure that the meal that they ate before it does not contain too much calories and sugars in order to accommodate the extra sugars in the sweets without raising their blood sugars significantly.
Diabetes myth #3: type 2 diabetes is not a very dangerous disease. Out of all the myths, this is probably the most dangerous in terms of consequences. Because many people do not realize the severity of diabetes, they tend to take it for granted and skip making necessary changes to prevent it. The truth is, type 2 diabetes is a deadly disease. The diabetes alone might not kill, but it puts a person at such a risk for possible complications that may arise from improperly controlled blood sugar levels. For instance, diabetics are three times more likely to suffer from heart diseases compared to the general population. They are also more at risk for having skin infections, kidney damage, stroke, eye damage and even foot amputations.
Diabetes myth #4: only overweight people get diabetes. While being overweight is a risk factor for diabetes, people of all weight can be affected by it. Not all overweight individuals will have diabetes, but they certainly need to be careful about getting it because they already have being overweight as a risk factor. Other risk factors come into play such as family history or inactivity, so if a person is overweight, has a sibling or either parent who has diabetes, and lives an inactive lifestyle, then the more at risk they are.
Diabetes myth #5: people affected with diabetes should avoid exercise. This myth probably stems from the practice wherein individuals suffering from illnesses are kept from doing strenuous activities. But with diabetes, they should be doing the complete opposite. Exercise is a very important component in keeping a diabetic healthy. Exercise lowers the risk of contracting possible complications by lowering blood sugar levels, encouraging insulin sensitivity, lowering blood pressure and encouraging the use of sugars in the blood as energy. The exercise does not have to be gym-based exercise but could be as simple as doing yard work, walking the dog or doing the grocery.
Diabetes myth #6: all diabetics need to take insulin shots. This is true for all type 1 diabetes patients, but not for all diabetes type 2 patients. Type 1 diabetes, also called insulin dependent diabetes, is a disease wherein the patient has lost the ability to produce proper amounts of insulin for sugars to be used up by the cells. However in the case of type 2 diabetics their pancreas may produce enough insulin but the cells cannot process it properly. Type 2 diabetics therefore might not need insulin shots but are placed under medication.
Diabetes myth #7: you can catch diabetes from another person. Diabetes is NOT contagious, it cannot be caught from interacting with a person or sharing things with them. Diabetes cannot be caught like the flu. It is a chronic condition that is determined by family history, diet and lifestyle patterns.
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