Misconceptions about diabetes
People have lot of misconceptions about diabetes and they influence how diabetics take care of themselves.
Misconception 1: Diabetes is not dangerous
Diabetes can be controlled and complications can be prevented if properly managed but one cannot ignore the fact that every year diabetes causes more deaths than breast cancer and AIDS do in combination.
Misconception 2: Eating sugar causes diabetes
Eating too much sugar does not directly predispose an individual to developing diabetes. But too much sugar can trigger diabetes in a pre-diabetic person.
Misconception 3: Being overweight eventually leads to diabetes
We need to understand that being obese or overweight is just one of the risk factors for diabetes. Not all obese people develop the disease. Understanding the risk factors such as family history of the disease, ethnicity, being overweight, high blood pressure, sedentary life style can together explain the overall risk of developing diabetes.
Misconception 4: People with diabetes cannot eat sweets
People with diabetes can eat sugar and sweets if it fits into a healthy meal plan coupled with exercise. Sugared drinks, sweets get easily digested and abruptly increase the blood sugar levels, and if eaten in large quantities can be very harmful therefore, it’s very important to eat everything in moderation.
Myth 5: Diabetes is contagious
Diabetes is not contagious but it definitely has a genetic link which means it runs in families.
Myth 6: Taking insulin means you have not managed diabetes well
If an individual is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, there is no other option but taking insulin for survival. An individual with type 2 diabetes might manage initially with oral medications but will eventually need insulin. Diabetes gradually changes with time.
Myth 7: Insulin is Harmful
Insulin is an effective medication for diabetes and prevents the blood sugar from rising but high insulin levels can make a person fat, increase blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Blood levels of insulin can be decreased, by eating less food, more fibre and exercising regularly.
Misconception 8: Diabetics should follow a Special Diet
Diet for diabetics should be a combination of complex carbohydrates, vegetables and fruits, lean protein, low-fat dairy products. The intake of processed foods, fat, salt and added sugar should be very low. An individual with diabetes should have five small meals a day which are properly spaced out.