10 Common Myths And Facts About Diabetes

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10 Common Myths And Facts About Diabetes

Diabetes is intricate. It has layers of concerns that need to be dealt with so that the core remains strong, which is you.

One needs to be ever vigilant of the information, updates and latest facts in the field of diabetes as new developments mean better self-management.

Beato believes that awareness is the key to improved wellbeing. We start with educating ourselves first, and one step at a time deal with the situation and focus on the treatment.

To stop the progression of diabetes, you must first clarify all the doubts you have. A confused thought process is not a wise way to help in diabetes self-management.

Let us help you help yourself by discussing 10 myths and facts about diabetes.

Myth 1. Diabetes can be reversed.

Fact: Anyone with diabetes should not be fooled by false advertising that it can be reversed. The progression of the disease can be stopped and decelerated. Type 2 diabetes is due to the insufficiency of insulin hormone. Oral diabetic drugs like sulfonylureas push pancreatic cells to make more insulin, other drugs act differently. No medication regenerates pancreatic cells which once damaged cannot be recreated. Similarly, in type 1 diabetes there is a complete absence of insulin production and it has to be outsourced from outside.

Diet, exercise, weight management, stress management and medications ensure control in the progression of the disease but not a reversal.

Myth 2. Functional foods can prevent diabetes.

Fact: Functional foods or super foods are natural foods that may support in the treatment of diabetes. But their efficacy is questionable. It is generally the fiber content or a phytochemical that helps regulate blood glucose levels in the body. Naturopathy and nutrition experts believe that functional foods like fenugreek, black Indian plums, bitter gourd, cinnamon and more have unique anti-diabetic properties. But, these cannot replace insulin or oral diabetic drug therapy.

Myth 3: Eating sugar in excess causes diabetes.

Fact: Diabetes is caused due to insufficiency or absolute lack of insulin production. It is not caused due to eating too much sugar. Yes, eating excess carbohydrates simple or complex does affect the glucose metabolism and causes high blood glucose levels. But, it is not the cause.

Well, experts may explain that eating too much simple sugar and calories from ice cream, chocolates, and sodas, as well as refined flour and processed foods, result in weight gain. Abdominal weight and obesity are a primary cause of insulin resistance. The pancreas effective production of insulin is disturbed and type 2 diabetes is triggered. So, sugar intake may have some contributing role in the development of insulin resistance.

We can say that sugar intake needs to be controlled in all age groups to prevent weight gain (maintaining a healthy BMI) but you cannot quote that ‘sugar causes diabetes’.

Myth 4. I have diabetes. I will have to starve.

Fact: Actually, it is the way around. You have to eat more if you have diabetes. So, that your body can make up for protein losses as well as regenerate worn out tissue mass. You need not eat excess calories, you need to eat intelligently. A diet expert can help you with the breakdown of carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Moreover, nutrients like magnesium, copper and zinc play the vital role in diabetes care. The requirement of these nutrients increases and a diet rich in these is advised.

Myth 5. Diabetes affects your fertility.

Fact: Men do have issues with erectile dysfunction if they have long term diabetes. It is a concern and can affect the relationship. Women are not affected with diabetes when it comes to diabetes unless they have excess weight or frequent urinary tract infections.

All of these issues are treatable with medication and require meeting and consulting your endocrinologist. Referrals to urologist and gynecologist can certainly help resolve the condition associated with diabetes and erectile dysfunction or urinary tract infections.

Myth 6. Diabetes can affect your professional status.

Fact: Strong will is not taken aback with diabetes at least. Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Fawad Khan, Sonam Kapoor are some celebrities we adore and inspire because they refuse to let diabetes affect their acting career. If they can do it we all can. You do not have to make diabetes a road block. Just consider it as an adjustment (a healthy one) to your lifestyle and move ahead.

Myth 7. I have diabetes. My children will also have diabetes.

Fact: Diabetes does carry genetic traits. Type 1 diabetes is passed from one generation to the other. If the father has type 1 diabetes, there is a 10% chance for his child to have the same. In case the mother has type 1 diabetes and is 25 years old or less, the child may have 4% risk of developing type 1 diabetes. On the other hand, if the mother with type 1 diabetes is older than 25 years age when she conceived, the risk reduces.

It should be understood that if you are to be a parent, have type 1 diabetes and were yourself diagnosed of same before age of 11 years old, your child has more risk of developing same early in life.

The occurrence of type 2 diabetes in families is very common. Experts say this is due to similar environmental factors like diet, lifestyle, and stress that predispose your risk for diabetes. But, MODY is a genetic trait that passes on as diabetes in families.

Myth 8. I can show any medical practitioner for diabetes treatment.

Fact: It is best that if you have been diagnosed with diabetes, consult an Endocrinologist. A general practitioner or a diabetologist is equipped to diagnose diabetes and also suggest therapy. But, Endocrinologists are trained and skilled with insights related to all kinds of diabetes, cure, therapy and management.

Myth 9: Diabetes can cause weakness.

Fact: Well, it is a fact that you do feel tired and fatigued all the time if you have high blood glucose streaming in your system. If you understand the physiology of cells, mitochondria (powerhouse) in the cells convert glucose to ATP (energy). And we, the human body run on ATP. Each function, breaking down, generation, regeneration needs ATP aka energy.

Now, imagine the cells having a gate (insulin receptors) that allow glucose molecule to enter the cells and get converted to ATP, our energy molecule. The key to this gate is the hormone insulin produced by the pancreas.

When the doctors say you have diabetes or pre-diabetes, there is no insulin or very little insulin. Thus, the glucose molecules are left streaming in the blood (digested after your meal) and cannot reach the insides of your cells. You have nothing to be created into energy. Thus, you are tired, very sluggish all the time.

Myth 10. Taking insulin injection means is the end of the world.

Fact: Actually, it is a new beginning. Taking insulin injections can help your body stop damage caused by circulating high blood glucose molecules. Now, you have the control over your glycemic values. The insulin that is not produced in the body will now be outsourced from outside. It is a financial burden. It is stressful to inject yourself all the time. But, diabetes is not end-of-life. You can manage it and stay healthy.

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