Diabetes is a serious long-term condition under which the body is unable to regulate the amount of glucose in the blood. Many people are confused about diabetes and how one catches this disease. If you know someone who is suffering from diabetes, you might have a lot of questions about the disease. Since most people are unaware of what diabetes is and what causes the disease in the first place, there are a few widespread myths about it that people come to believe.
Let’s take a look at few such myths and the truth behind them:
Myth: Nobody in the family has diabetes so I won’t have it
Fact: It is true that having a family member with diabetes increases your chances of getting diabetes. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetic patients could have diabetes in their family history. However, some people with diabetes don’t have any family members diagnosed with the disease.
There are several lifestyle choices and conditions that can cause type 2 diabetes. These include:
- Having prediabetes
- Polycystic ovary disease
- Gestational diabetes
- Being 45 or older
One can reduce the risk of diabetes by eating healthy, exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy weight, even when you are travelling with diabetes.
Myth: I will develop diabetes because I am overweight
Fact: Being overweight increases your chances of developing diabetes. However, many overweight people never develop diabetes. And sometimes people who are normal weight do end up having the disease. If you are feeling concerned about developing diabetes because of your weight, you should try losing some weight through exercise and a healthy diet.
Myth: I eat a lot of sweet, I will develop diabetes
Fact: Eating sugar does not cause diabetes. However, you should avoid sweets and sugary beverages. We are often confused about whether sugar causes diabetes. Since our body breaks down food and converts it into glucose, which is essentially blood sugar, the confusion we have about sugar is somewhat justified. When you have diabetes, the body stops making enough insulin. As a result, the extra blood sugar remains in the blood and increases blood glucose.
Myth: If I have diabetes I would have to follow a special diet
Fact: Diabetic people can eat the same food that everyone eats. According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetic patients don’t need specific amounts of carbs, fat, and protein but they need to get their carbs from vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. Limit food that is high in fat, sodium, and fiber.
If you are suffering from diabetes, work with a dietician to prepare a meal plan that you are able to follow easily.
Myth: I have diabetes so I will never be able to eat sweets
Fact: While sweets are full of sugar that can be responsible for increasing your blood sugar level, they are not exactly off-limits for diabetes patients. As long as you plan your meal around it, you can have sweets on special occasions. If you are taking insulin, your provider may ask you to take a little extra amount of sweets than usual.
Myth: I am put on insulin which means I am not able to manage my blood sugar level
Fact: If you have type 1 diabetes, you need insulin as your body stops producing this important hormone. With type 2 diabetes, the body makes less insulin over time. At some point, exercise, a healthy diet, and medicines may not be able to keep blood sugar level in control so you need insulin.
Myth: It is unsafe to exercise with diabetes
Fact: On the contrary, getting enough exercise is an effective way of managing diabetes. When you workout or put your body through physical strain, your body’s sensitivity to insulin increases.
You should participate in at least 150 minutes of light to moderate workout. Also, incorporate strength training in your regime at least two times a week.
Consult with online nutritionists for sugar/diabetes patients and figure out what level of exercise is safe for you.
Myth: I have borderline diabetes so I don’t need to worry
Fact: If your blood sugar level is not in the diabetic range but is too high to be labeled as normal, you are in the prediabetes. It means you are at a high risk of developing diabetes within the next 10 years. You can lower your blood sugar level by lowering your body weight through rigorous exercise.
Myth: I can stop taking my medicines once the blood sugar level is under control
Fact: People with type 2 diabetes are more likely to lower their blood sugar levels through exercise and a healthy diet. However, diabetes is a progressive disease and may need you to take medicines over time in order to maintain your blood sugar level.