5 Myths About Diabetes

5 Myths About Diabetes

The word "diabetes" can cause significant confusion, especially if you're newly diagnosed, have been identified as "pre-diabetic," or are overweight and concerned about developing the disease yourself. Knowing the facts, and debunking these five myths, should give you insight into how diabetes might affect you or someone you love.

Myth 1: Diabetes isn't a serious condition

Diabetes can cause serious damage to your body, and unmanaged diabetes can cause blindness, kidney failure, nerve damage and heart problems. Managing it well, by controlling diet, exercise and blood sugar levels, will help prevent the development of these debilitating complications.

Myth 2: Eating sugar causes diabetes

Eating sugary foods does not cause the development of this disease. Sugar (or sugar substitutes like sucrose and high fructose syrup) triggers the release of insulin, which is a hormone that controls sugar molecules in the blood; too much sugar causes an insulin release to convert and store that excess sugar as fat. Diabetics either can't produce their own insulin (Type 1 Diabetics) or don't produce enough of it to control blood sugar levels adequately (Type 2 Diabetics).

Many Diabetics have a genetic factor that contributes to diabetes development; for other Diabetics, however, there is no apparent cause for why they get the disease, especially when no one in their family has it. The majority of overweight or obese people will not develop diabetes, no matter how much sugar they consume, since they don't suffer from insufficient insulin levels.

Myth 3: All Diabetics require daily insulin shots

Some Diabetics (Type 1) DO need regular shots of insulin because their pancreas (the organ that produces the hormone) does not make insulin or doesn't produce it in sufficient quantities. Type 1 Diabetics test their blood sugar on a regular basis throughout the day to ensure it stays within a healthy range, and they take insulin around mealtime, with the volume of each dose determined by the foods they eat and when they eat them.

Conversely, many Type 2 Diabetics don't require insulin shots and are able to control their blood sugar levels by monitoring their diet and exercise levels, and perhaps also taking appropriate medications. Your ideal diet balances carbohydrates (sugars), fats and proteins alongside regular exercise for optimal health.

Myth 4: You can tell when your blood sugar is high or low

Most people don't know when their blood sugar level is fluctuating, since high and low blood sugar levels often masquerade as symptoms of other conditions. The shaking and lightheadedness of a low blood sugar level may mean instead that you are coming down with a flu. Excess urination may be because of diabetes, or it may be caused by a bladder infection. Only by testing blood sugar can your actual level be determined and monitored.

Myth 5: People with diabetes lose limbs or die early

In the past, many people did suffer from these circumstances. Today's scientific community, however, has made significant advances in early detection and by providing the resources necessary to maintain diabetes properly while living a healthy, fun lifestyle. Many people with the condition change how they eat and move about, and they are able to enhance their quality of life even with a diabetes diagnosis.

Don't let these myths make you avoid being tested for diabetes. Today's medical community has the resources to help you prevent the onset of this condition or manage it well if you do develop diabetes.






About the Author:

Pam Sornson is a professional writer based in Oregon. She has been writing for over 25 years as a lawyer, journalist, trainer, and community member. She specializes in legal and medical topics, and enjoys researching complex subjects like the development of the European Cloud Commission and China's manufacturing industries. Pam is a proud mama to two very bright young adults, and she enjoys her garden, pets, and extended family.