3 Myths About Diabetes - Debunked!
Diabetes, also called blood sugar, are a disease that happens when the glucose levels in your blood are too high.
Glucose is vital for a healthy functioning of the body. All the cells on your body rely on this molecule to get the energy they need.
However, glucose is not the only molecule they rely on. Your cells also need insulin that helps the glucose get into the cells.
Thus, in the absence of insulin - a hormone produced by the pancreas- the cells will not receive the required glucose supply. Instead, the glucose will stay in the blood, causing several health issues.
While it is important, and unfortunate, to say that diabetes does not have a definitive cure, there are many measures any diabetic person can take to stay healthy and lead a normal lifestyle.
The Different Types of Diabetes
Even though every type of diabetes requires the same amount of care and precautions, the consequences and causes can vary depending on each case.
Here are the main types of diabetes, and the differences between them:
· Type 1 Diabetes: Type 1 diabetes is characterized by the body’s inability to produce insulin. This is because the immune system targets and destroys the cells in the pancreas responsible of making insulin.
· Type 2 Diabetes: Unlike type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes is characterized by the body’s inability to produce the amount of insulin needed. Or, in other cases, the insulin can be well produced but not used the way it should be. Type 2 diabetes is the most common of all. It is prevalent among the middle-aged and the elderly, but can also be diagnosed in children.
· Gestational Diabetes: This type of diabetes is mostly temporary, since it affects women during pregnancy then goes away as soon as the baby is born. However, it should not be underestimated as it may increase the chances of developing a type 2 diabetes later in life.
While these are the main types of diabetes you may hear of, there other types less common, such as monogenic diabetes, which are inherited.
No matter the type of diabetes you or a loved one may have, it is essential, even lifesaving, to consistently get medical assistance.
The Potential Health Consequences of Diabetes
Just like any chronic disease, diabetes can have severe consequences if the instructions of health experts were neglected or not well followed.
As time goes by, people with high levels of glucose in blood can suffer from other chronic diseases caused by diabetes, such as kidney disease, heart disease, strokes, eye issues, and dental problems.
For this reason, keeping track on diabetes consistently with a health expert, and following their instructions can be the best measure a person suffering from diabetes can make. It will reduce their risks of developing more life-threatening diseases.
The Three Most Common Myths About Diabetes
Despite the enormous amount of information available on the internet, TV and social media today, we still notice a huge number of misconceptions and myths around diabetes.
While we are unsure of the origin of these myths, we decided to debunk the three most famous myths build around diabetes to help spread more awareness of the disease and stop the propagation of misinformation. Discover some of the myths below, some are actually surprising!
· People with diabetes must adopt a sugar-free diet: This is one of the most common myths related to diabetes. People often tend to believe that as soon as a person is diagnosed with diabetes, they must immediately cut off any foods that contain sugar from their diet.
While this idea can be justified by the fact that people with diabetes already have high levels of sugar in their blood, we must put this misconception to an end. Just because they have high sugar levels, does not mean they can’t consume it in their diets. After all, their bodies will need it to supply them with the energy necessary for all cells. Therefore, a balanced diet with an intake of sugar recommended by the doctor depending on each person’s case is the right measure to take.
· Only overweight people can suffer from diabetes: Having type 2 diabetes is often linked to overweight people. This is a famous idea often illustrated by the media when trying to convince people of adopting a healthier lifestyle and making better food choices.
While we appreciate the intention, it is important to build people’s knowledge on facts, rather than misinforming them by this thought to scare them.
Type 2 diabetes, or any other type, is not only exclusive to people suffering from overweight problem. In fact, it can affect any one at any age, even children.
This is why we encourage a healthy lifestyle to people of all age categories and body shapes. Since anyone can be at the danger of developing a type 2 diabetes, making good food choices is always the way to go.
· People with diabetes cannot have the career of their dreams: Having diabetes is not an excuse, nor an obstacle, to follow the career of your dreams. Most of fields do not set the condition of being diabetes-free in order to work, except for front line services in the army. But if you have always dreamed of joining the army force, there are plenty of other positions you can follow other than front line service.
To sum up, having diabetes is not the end, and you should never allow it to make you feel like you cannot lead the life you want. Rather, take the measures necessary and follow your doctor’s advice, then go for the life of your dreams.
And in case you do not suffer from any type of diabetes, this is not a call for making random lifestyle choices. Instead, you should try to transform your habits into healthier ones, while continuously raising awareness of this disease and fighting all the myths surrounding it by explaining to your friends and loved ones the real symptoms and causes of this disease.