Diabetes is a deadly disease, no doubt. And we should do all that we can to escape its vicious grips.
However, because it is such a chronic and debilitating disease, many myths surround diabetes, such that it is easy to lose sight of the truth concerning this avoidable disease.
What are these myths, and what is the truth? Here are five diabetes myths you need to stop believing.
Myth: All overweight people eventually develop type-2 diabetes.
Fact: This is false. It’s easy to assume overweight people are doing themselves a disservice that will inevitably lead to diabetes. You’re certainly not doing yourself any favours by maintaining an unhealthy weight, but the claim that all overweight people will eventually develop type-2 diabetes is inaccurate. According to the American Diabetes Association, “Most overweight people never develop type-2 diabetes, and many people with type-2 diabetes are at a normal weight or only moderately overweight.” Something to consider if you’re freaking out over a slight increase in your weight.
Myth: Type-1 diabetes is caused by a poor diet
Fact: Once again, this is false. The ADA reports that type-1 diabetes, which is less common, is caused by genetics and unknown factors. It’s also typically diagnosed in children and young adults. Because it only affects five per cent of the people who have diabetes, type-1 can often be misunderstood. A person with type-1 diabetes is unable to produce insulin, which isn’t a result of lifestyle factors. Those with type-2 diabetes, on the other hand, develop a resistance to insulin.
Myth: Being overweight is the only risk factor for type-2 diabetes
Fact: Being overweight, having an unhealthy diet, and a lack of physical activity certainly do not help you in staving off diabetes;but there are other factors that also play a role. According to the International Diabetes Federation, family history, increasing age, high blood pressure, ethnicity, impaired glucose tolerance, history of gestational diabetes, and poor nutrition during pregnancy can all make a difference. As you can see, there are genetic and environmental factors that may contribute to a person’s predisposition to developing type-2 diabetes. This all means you really should maintain regular visits with your doctor.
Myth: Once you are pre-diabetic, you will get diabetes.
Fact: While pre-diabetes is, obviously, a precursor to diabetes, it’s not a death sentence. Just because you have pre-diabetes doesn’t mean you’ll continue in a downward spiral. If detected early enough, treatment can return blood glucose levels to the normal range. The ADA says your risk for type-2 diabetes can be lowered by 58 per cent if you lose seven per cent of your body weight and exercise moderately for 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
Myth: Left untreated, only your blood sugar is affected.
Fact: To assume that type-2 diabetes complications stop at blood sugar is a dangerous mindset. When someone has type-2 diabetes, their body isn’t able to produce enough insulin to keep blood glucose levels normal. When this happens, glucose isn’t able to move into the cells like it’s supposed to, so it builds up in the blood. According to the ADA, this build-up can result in your cells being starved for energy, and, over time, may hurt your eyes, kidneys, nerves, or heart. It’s important to discuss the state of your health with your doctor if you are pre-diabetic or have any type of diabetes. Lifestyle changes, medication, or insulin injections may be a necessary part of your treatment plan.
Adapted from: Health-Fitness-Diabetes
published by PunchNigeriaNewspaper on 14 Feb 2017