8 COMMON MYTHS ABOUT DIABETES
Diabetes is a general term that describes diseases related to high blood glucose levels. It is most often caused due to a lack of insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. In Type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce any insulin, whereas in Type 2 diabetes, the body does not create enough insulin. People with diabetes may be hungry or fatigued, have blurred vision, and frequently need to urinate or drink. Diabetes can often be managed with lifestyle changes and regular insulin injections.
Diabetes is a condition that affects millions of people in America. There is a lot of information available about diabetes — but unfortunately, not all of it is true. Below is a list of eight of the most common myths about diabetes:
Myth: People Get Diabetes From Eating Too Much Sugar
Fact: There are many factors that cause diabetes. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body makes little or no insulin. Researchers believe that a combination of genetics, environmental factors and viruses lead to type 1 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body cannot use insulin properly.
People who have a family history of type 2 diabetes are more likely to develop it. Obesity is another risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Additionally, type 2 diabetes is more likely to occur in people who are over the age of 40.
While sugar does not cause diabetes, there has been evidence to suggest that people who frequently consume sugary beverages are at a greater risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, excessive sugar intake can lead to obesity, which increases a person’s risk of getting the disease.
Myth: Diabetes Is a Death Sentence
Fact: Diabetes kills thousands of people each year. However, it does not have to be a death sentence. In fact, many people are able to live relatively normal lives thanks to the numerous diabetes treatments available. Diabetes treatments can also reduce the risk of complications.
However, it is important to note that early diagnosis and treatment are the keys to managing diabetes. That is why regular blood sugar screenings are extremely important. You should make sure that you follow the treatment plan your physician recommends. Your treatment plan may include insulin, medication or both. If you have any questions about your treatment, then you should consult with your doctor.
Myth: You Cannot Exercise if You Have Diabetes
Fact: If you are feeling up to it, then you can certainly exercise. In fact, exercise can help you keep your diabetes under control. It can lower your blood sugar and increase the body’s response to insulin. Regular exercise can also reduce your risk of complications, such as heart disease and diabetic neuropathy. Furthermore, many diabetics who exercise regularly are able to get off of medication.
However, it is a good idea to talk to your doctor before you start an exercise program. Your doctor can give you tips for starting an exercise program and staying safe while you exercise. You will also need to measure your blood sugar before and after you exercise. Exercise is not recommended if your blood sugar is too high or too low.
Furthermore, it is important to listen to your body while you are exercising. If you are feeling fatigued, nauseated or dizzy, then it is a good idea to stop exercising and check your blood sugar.
Myth: You Cannot Have Sugar if You Are a Diabetic
Fact: Following a healthy diet is an important part of keeping your diabetes under control. You will have to reduce your intake of sugar. However, that does not mean you have to completely eliminate sugar from your diet. While it is not a good idea to have a dessert every day, you can probably have one a few times per month.
It is also important to remember that sugary foods are not the only types of food that can be harmful for a diabetic. Diabetics are encouraged to limit their intake of white bread, white rice and plain pasta. Those types of foods are quickly broken down by the body and can raise blood sugar.
Myth: You Are More Likely to Contract Infectious Illnesses if You Have Diabetes
Fact: Diabetes does not increase your risk of developing an infectious illness, such as the cold or flu. However, diabetes does put you at a greater risk for developing complications due to an infectious illness. That is why doctors recommend that diabetics get a flu shot every year. A flu shot can reduce your risk of developing influenza-related complications.
Myth: Gestational Diabetes Is Not Serious
Fact: Gestational diabetes is a condition that causes elevated blood sugar in pregnant women. A woman’s blood sugar typically returns to normal after she gives birth. That is why many people erroneously believe gestational diabetes is not a serious condition.
Gestational diabetes can lead to pregnancy-related complications. A woman with gestational diabetes is more likely to deliver a very large baby. This can increase her chance of needing a C-section. Gestational diabetes also puts a woman at risk for developing full-blown type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, babies who are born to mothers who had gestational diabetes are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life.
There are several steps pregnant women can take to lower their risk of gestational diabetes. Eating right and exercising can help cut a woman’s chance of developing gestational diabetes. It is also important for a woman to consult with her healthcare provider regularly throughout her pregnancy. If a woman does develop gestational diabetes, then early treatment can reduce her chance of long-term complications. It can also increase her chances of having a normal delivery.
Myth: People With Diabetes Always Have Symptoms
Fact: Extreme fatigue, weight loss, feeling hungry and thirsty all of the time and blurry vision are some of the possible symptoms of diabetes. However, the symptoms can sometimes be so mild that the person overlooks them. Some people do not have any symptoms. In fact, it is possible for a person to live with diabetes for years without knowing that he or she has it. That is another reason regular blood sugar screenings are important. The only way you can know for sure whether you have diabetes is to get your blood sugar checked.
Myth: You Cannot Donate Blood if You Have Diabetes
Fact: As long as your diabetes is under control, and you are feeling well, you can donate blood. Your vital signs will be checked before you donate blood in order to ensure you are healthy enough to give blood.