When we think of Diabetes, what comes to our mind first?
Diabetes is a “deadly disease”? But NO, this isn’t true.
Diabetes is a rapidly spreading disease mainly due to the present sedentary life, junk food or it may owe its existence due to hereditary. “Diabetes is referred as lawfully wedded wife of obesity”.
Doctors refer Diabetes as Diabetes Mellitus in which the patient has high blood sugar level (blood glucose), mainly due to inadequate insulin production or inappropriate response by human body to insulin or both.
People have many beliefs/Myths about Diabetes, which may or may not be true. Myths are generally very old sayings and have no records or proof to their existence.
Today you would find many presumed myths or facts about Diabetes on the internet/magazines/paper etc. So let’s browse what are the fifteen most common Myths/Beliefs/Facts about Diabetes.
- Most common myth about diabetes is “Don’t eat too much sugar, you will become diabetic” – This is not true. As the immune system of a person destroys the insulin producing beta cells, individuals develop diabetes. Nevertheless chances of developing diabetes in obese people are increased if they consume diet high in calories especially if there is a history of this disease in the family.
- “Diabetics cannot eat noodles, bread, pasta or potatoes etc.” – No people with diabetes can have starchy foods but they need to keep an eye on the proportion they consume. Whole grain starchy food is better in comparison for both diabetic and non-diabetic individuals.
- “Diabetic people should avoid chocolates or sweets” – This is wrong as diabetic people can consume sweets and chocolate if they combine these with regular walking, exercise or have them as a part of the healthy meal.
- “Chances that fat people develop type 2 diabetes eventually” – No this is absolutely wrong, although as mentioned above being obese or overweight raises the risk of diabetes but this doesn’t mean every obese person is surely diabetic. Many slim people have type 2 diabetes and they have never been overweight. Also there are majority of obese people who don’t have type 2 diabetes.
- “Diabetes is an infectious disease and it can be transmitted from person to person” – Not True. Just like a broken limb or hip is not infectious or contagious so is diabetes. But a parent may pass on, through their genes to their offspring, a higher susceptibility to developing the disease.
- “High blood sugar levels are fine for some people, while for others they are a sign of diabetes” – This is a misconception as high blood-sugar levels are never normal for all individuals. But just because of some mental stress, illnesses and steroids causes temporary hike in blood sugar levels in people without diabetes too. All individuals with higher than normal blood sugar levels should be checked for diabetes.
- “Kids/Children with diabetes can never have sweets” – This is totally incorrect as they can consume a certain required amount of sugary food as part of a balanced diet, but they need to watch and control the total amount of carbohydrates they eat, which includes sugary items. Because sugary sweets provide no real nutritional value apart from calories, they should be limited but not eliminated compulsory.
- “Kids/Children can outgrow diabetes” – This is not true. In maximum number of kids with type 1 diabetes, insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas have been destroyed and can never come back. These kids are bound to take insulin life long, unless a cure is found one day.
- “Insulin cures diabetes” – Not True as Insulin can just control and manage diabetes but it cannot cure the disease. Insulin serves as a helper to get glucose out of the bloodstream and into the cells, where it can be used for energy. This procedure helps keeping blood sugar levels under control, but taking insulin doesn’t correct the underlying cause of diabetes.
- “All Individuals suffering with diabetes are bound to take Insulin” – This is inappropriate as there are only some people with type 2 diabetes but not all who need to take insulin with or without pills to manage their blood sugar levels. Individuals with type 1 diabetes take insulin injections as their pancreas don’t produce insulin anymore.
- “More consumption of Insulin means diabetes is getting worse” – This is incorrect as Insulin just helps in controlling diabetes but it has nothing to do with the severity of the disease. Individuals take up insulin when diet alone or diet with oral or non-insulin injectable diabetes drugs do not provide appropriate diabetes control, that’s all.
- “People with diabetes should not exercise” – This is totally incorrect as exercise is basic requirement for people with diabetes, as it is for everybody else. Regular exercise helps in managing body weight, helps blood sugar control, improves cardiovascular health and relieves stress. Diabetic patients should discuss exercise with their doctor first before beginning.
- “Diabetic patients can feel whether their blood sugar levels are high or low” – This is not true. Although diabetic patients can feel the physical symptoms like weakness, extreme thirst etc. but the only way to know about blood sugar levels is tests. Regular blood and urine tests are required to keep a watch of this.
- “Patients with diabetes are more susceptible to illnesses, cold in general” – This is a wrong perception as a person with diabetes control is no more likely to become ill with a cold or something else than other people. Nevertheless, when a diabetic patient catches a cold, their diabetes becomes harder to control, so they have a higher risk of complications as compared to normal individuals.
- “Only old age population develop type 2 diabetes” – No, today things have changed, a vast number of kids and teenagers are developing type 2 diabetes. This is mainly due to obesity, physical inactivity and poor diet.
So with this let’s clear our misconceptions/myths about diabetes. Although it’s a serious disease but it doesn’t mean patients can’t leave health and happy life. Diabetes is manageable with positive, alert and hardworking attitude.