Thursday, November 8th, 2012

Debunking Diabetes Myth

Misconceptions are a diabetic’s worst enemy says Dr Ambrish Mithal MD, DM. Chairman, HOD, Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Medanta, the Medicity, as it would not let you to take control on this condition. Therefore, here we help you break some common diabetes misbelieves. Read on.


Myth #1 People with diabetes can’t eat anything sweet.

The Fact—A piece of cake or a scoop of ice cream won’t cause a health crisis to type 2 diabetics if these are eaten in moderation, as part of a healthy meal plan and combined with exercise. However, one must not forget that sweets are packed with lot of sugar (a carbohydrate that raises glucose levels considerably), therefore for better glucose control, it is important to eat a low-carb meal like boiled chicken breast, broccoli, and salad before dishing into some ice cream.

Myth #2: Eating too much sugar causes diabetes.

The Fact— Nothing proves that chocaholics or sweet tooth people are destined to develop diabetes. The disease is caused by a combination of genetic and lifestyle factors. Remember, being overweight can increase the risk for developing type 2 diabetes and eating a lot of sugar can pack on the pounds. Therefore eating sugar healthfully and exercising regularly is recommended. An increase in weight of 1 kilogram can increase your risk of diabetes by 5% to 9%.

Myth #3: People with diabetes must eat a special diet.

The Fact - A wholesome meal plan is based on whole-grain foods, lean protein, vegetables, and fruit. Such a diet is low in fat (particularly saturated and trans fat), salt, and simple sugars. So, the so-called diabetic foods offer no special benefits. Essentially a healthy diet is the same as a diabetic diet.

Myth #4: You can catch diabetes from someone else.

The Fact - Diabetes is not an infectious or contagious disease. Although there is no exact explanation what causes the disorder, but it is not caught from another person, like a cold or the flu. However, a genetic link with type2 diabetes is proven that confirms that if a family member has the condition; you may be at higher risk.

Myth #5: There’s only one kind of diabetes.

The Fact - Diabetes refers to a group of diseases—all of which have a common reason for cause – that the body’s inability to properly convert glucose from food into energy, leading to a high level of sugar in the blood. The primary kinds include type 1 (formerly known as juvenile-onset diabetes), type 2 (once called adult-onset diabetes), and gestational (which occurs only during pregnancy). And the suspected causes differ for each type,

Myth #6: Only people with diabetes need insulin.

The Fact – Everybody needs insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas that allows the body to convert food into energy for activity. People who don’t have diabetes make and use the right amount of this chemical. People with diabetes either don’t make any insulin, don’t make enough, or can’t use the insulin they make properly. Therefore, in people with diabetes, it’s important to balance food, activity, and—in some cases— take medications, which may include insulin injections or an insulin pump (insulin isn’t available in pill form), to get the necessary amount of this essential hormone. Also to dispense the myth, one must know that insulin is just a tool to manage diabetes, not a cure.

Myth #7: Nothing can be done to prevent diabetes complications.

The Fact – Studies show that diabetes-related complications can be prevented or delayed by following a self-care treatment plan that keeps blood sugar levels under control and by getting regular medical checkups. Many people with type 2 diabetes also have high blood pressure and cholesterol. Keeping these twin conditions in check as well can also go a long way toward warding off complications such as nerve damage and kidney failure.

Myth #8: Only overweight people get diabetes.

The Fact – Diabetes doesn’t discriminate: Even Slim Jims can succumb to the disease.
Some elderly people with the condition aren’t particularly overweight. Fitness (or lact of it) is also important, not just fatness.

Myth #9: People with diabetes shouldn’t exercise.

The Fact – Exact opposite is true: Exercise is a key component of any diabetes treatment plan, as it helps diabetic’s better use insulin and lower or maintain weight. Also, exercise is often the most overlooked weapon in the arsenal against this disease, underestimated by both patients and care providers. Barring severe disability or serious complications, physical activity of some sort – may be a walk — should be done regularly by everyone with diabetes, regardless of age.

Myth #10: People who follow their treatment plan never have high blood sugar readings.

The Fact – Unfortunately, someone with diabetes may experience the odd stubbornly high reading even if he’s diligently following all his doctors’ orders. Type 2 diabetes isn’t an easy disease to manage—and as we age, our bodies are constantly changing, as is our reaction to stress, infections, illness, medications, exercise, and diet. Little wonder, then, that sometimes our blood sugar doesn’t cooperate. However a diabetic should never let an occasional high reading give him the excuse to throw in the towel. Rather he must keep on following his treatment plan, he’ll find that, overall, his glucose control is on target.

Myth #11: Diabetes gets cured after some years.

The Fact – It may go for a short period of time. But diabetes is a multi-factorial condition. So, if you do not follow a proper routine and lifestyle, there are high chances that it may come back. You need to continue to follow the basic rules of diet, exercise and regular monitoring.

Myth #12: Taking medicines to control sugar will always keep diabetes under control and the patient do not require visiting the doctor.

The Fact – Taking medicines does not eliminate the need for regular monitoring and consulting the doctor. In fact, the need for consultation increases more because it is only the doctor who will evaluate your body’s response to the medicines and will accordingly alter the dosage.

Diabetes is a surely a serious disease. But, with a little help and support from family or friends and the assistance of a good healthcare team, it’s possible to live a full and fulfilling life even with a diabetes diagnosis.

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Category: Diabetes
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