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Common Myths And Its Facts About Diabetes

| Reviewed By Arya Krishnan

A serious metabolic disorder, diabetes can affect anyone - regardless of age and gender. It is caused by an increase in the blood sugar levels that can trigger several undesirable symptoms that can affect their health and life. That is, when the body does not produce enough insulin or when the cells do not respond to insulin. The condition does not have a known cure and the treatment involves taking insulin shots for the rest of the patient's life.

Some of the main symptoms of diabetes include frequent urination, excess thirst, fatigue, weight loss, blurred vision, slow healing of wounds, burning sensation in various parts of the body, etc. Individuals suffering from diabetes are required to follow strict diets with various limitations so as not to aggravate the symptoms.

According to the reports from the International Diabetic Foundation, India has more diabetics than any other country in the world, 62 million Indians which is, more than 7.2 per cent of the adult population are diabetic and nearly 1 million Indians die due to diabetes every year.

Considering that diabetes is one of the most common health conditions affecting people globally, there are various misconceptions concerning it. In this article, we will be discussing the myths and facts about diabetes.

Misconceptions about diabetes could affect how diabetic patients take care of themselves. Eating well when you have diabetes can be a tough task but, it's not difficult either. Still, many inaccurate ideas persist about the nature and treatment of diabetes. Read on to know the diabetes myths vs facts.

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Myth 1: People With Diabetes Can’t Eat Sugar

Fact: This is one of the most common diabetes myths, that people with the condition have to eat a sugar-free diet. When you have diabetes, it is best to avoid carbohydrates but that certainly does not mean you stop eating them. You need a balanced diet at the end of the day and, carbohydrates are a part of that balanced diet.

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Myth 2: Type 2 Diabetes Is Mild

Fact: If it is not controlled in time, both types of diabetes can lead to major complications. A healthy lifestyle is a must in both cases, though they both require different medical management. No form of diabetes is mild.

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Myth 3: If You Are Overweight, You Will Have Diabetes

Fact: Most people believe that diabetes is caused due to obesity. Well, insulin resistance indeed increases in obese people, thereby leading to diabetes. But there are cases where obese people don't have diabetes while those who are thin are diagnosed with it. Around 20 per cent of people with type 2 diabetes are of normal weight, or underweight.

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Myth 4: You Should Avoid Fruits

Fact: In the many myths about diabetes and your diet, one of the most common ones is that you should avoid fruits as they contain carbohydrates. Well, blood sugar level increases/decreases depending on the GI index. Fruits generally have a low GI index and hence can be consumed despite diabetic conditions. Always ask your doctor regarding which fruits are safe for you and in what quantity.

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Myth 5: People With Diabetes Should Avoid Sports/Exercise

Fact: People with diabetes should take part in exercises to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Aerobics are a must for a diabetic individual, as it will help one stay fit, helps control weight and the blood sugar levels. Studies reveal that regular physical activity helps to lower the blood sugar levels and helps in improving diabetes. But make sure the exercises are done in moderation.

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Myth 6: Intake Of Too Much Sugar Increases The Risk Of Diabetes

Fact: No, type 1 diabetes is caused by a combination of genetic and unknown factors, whereas, type 2 diabetes is caused by either genetics or lifestyle factors. If you have a history of diabetes in your family, eating a healthy balance of food and exercising regularly can help you stay away from this condition.

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Myth 7: All Types Of Diabetes Are Same

Fact: There are many types of diabetes and the most common ones are type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes. Each type of diabetes has a different cause and should be managed differently. Gestational diabetes goes away after pregnancy, but it can significantly increase the risk of type 2 diabetes later in life.

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Myth 8: Medication Is Enough For Managing Diabetes

Fact: No. When you are first diagnosed, your blood sugar may be controlled adequately by diet, exercise, and oral medications. However with time, your medications may not be as effective as they were, and you will likely need insulin injections to help control your blood sugar levels - as well as diet and exercise adjustments to help keep blood sugar levels in their target range and to avoid complications.

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Myth 9: Insulin Causes Complications

Fact: Another myth about diabetes is that insulin is harmful. On the contrary, insulin is probably the safest hormone that will help control blood sugar levels.

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Myth 10: Insulin Injections Necessary

Fact: It's a myth that you need insulin injections to control diabetes. It's just true for people with Type 1 diabetes who are unable to produce enough hormones. For Type 2 diabetes, pills are often enough.

Arya KrishnanEmergency Medicine
MBBS
Arya Krishnan
Read more about: diabetes insulin