Uncontrolled diabetes will cause blood vessel damage in the long run leading to foot ulcers or amputation, kidney failure, heart disease and stroke.
Diabetes is a global issue with 463 million known cases of the disease amongst adults across the globe. Diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin to maintain blood sugar levels in the body. Uncontrolled blood sugar levels can lead to several complications such as blindness, kidney failure, stroke, heart attack and lower limb amputation. Let’s break some myths on diabetes.
MYTH 1 – EATING SWEET FOOD CAUSES SUGAR.
Diabetes is caused when the body is unable to produce insulin or when the body is unable to use insulin efficiently. This leads to a rise in blood sugar levels. Eating sugary food does not cause diabetes but it can aggravate the condition, if the patient is already a diabetic.
MYTH 2 – WITH A SUITABLE DIET, DIABETES CAN BE CURED
Unfortunately, this is not the case. Diabetes in a chronic condition which means it will last all through one’s life. However, through proper diet, regular exercise and correct medication, the condition can be managed.
MYTH 3 – OBESITY CAUSES DIABETES.
Being overweight increases one’s risk for diabetes but it is not the cause for the condition. Most people with diabetes are normal weight or only marginally overweight. Nevertheless, exercising and getting into shape is a good decision to improve overall health as well.
MYTH 4 – FOODS RICH IN CARBS MUST BE ELIMINATED FROM ONE’S DIET
Those with diabetes must watch what they eat. Totally avoiding a particular food-group in one’s diet is not advisable. Consult with a dietitian and chart out a diet plan that includes the right amount of carbs, fats and proteins.
MYTH 5 – INSULIN SHOTS ARE A SIGN THAT THERE IS NO HOPE FOR RECOVERY
As mentioned before there is no such thing as recovering from diabetes because it is a chronic disease. Additionally, for most people with Type 2 diabetes, it is a progressive condition as well. This means as they age, the pancreas produces less insulin. Hence, where initially they were required only taking tablets to manage the disease, eventually they might require regular insulin shots. However, those with Type 1 diabetes need Insulin shots from the beginning because due to an immune system disorder they are unable to produce insulin. In this case oral medication is contraindicated.
MYTH 6 – DIABETES EVENTUALLY LEADS TO AMPUTATION OF ONE OR MORE LIMBS
Uncontrolled diabetes will cause blood vessel damage in the long run leading to foot ulcers or amputation, kidney failure, heart disease and stroke. Hence it is important to take one’s medication on time to maintain optimum blood sugar levels.
MYTH 7 – PEOPLE WITH DIABETES CANNOT PARTICIPATE IN SPORTS AND MANY OTHER ACTIVITIES.
Exercise is good for those with diabetes to maintain overall health. Staying fit and taking one’s diabetes medication diligently can help manage the condition and prevent it from getting in the way of performing other tasks.
MYTH 8 – DIABETES IN CONTAGIOUS
Diabetes is not contagious but having a family history of the condition increases risk for diabetes.
CONSULTANT – ENDOCRINOLOGY
MBBS, MD, DM (ENDOCRINOLOGY)