Diabetes is a chronic disease in which the body cannot regulate the amount of glucose in the blood. Regulating the blood sugar can be due to less insulin or no insulin (Type I diabetes); body responding poorly to insulin (Type II diabetes); or Diabetes during pregnancy (gestational) which will subside after delivery. There are few myths that surround diabetes; while the fact remains otherwise and scientifically proved, the myths are so deep rooted that they over showdown the facts. Following are the common myths and facts about diabetes
- Diabetes is caused by eating too much of Sugar or sweet food
Not necessarily. Diabetes is a chronic disease that is marked by high blood glucose levels, which result from the body’s inability to produce insulin or respond to it efficiently. Insulin is responsible for reducing blood glucose levels in the body when it is too high. Although eating sweet food may not cause diabetes, a diet high in sugar and fat can lead to obesity, increasing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Moreover, Sugars are simple carbs which are of high glycemic index. This Property, makes sugars or sweets contribute to elevated levels of blood sugar. When insulin is low, the reduction in blood sugar can’t be achieved and this stage is termed diabetes.
- Patients on Insulin have more serious Diabetes than those on Oral medications
Patients with type 1 diabetes are not able to produce insulin due to an immune disorder affecting the pancreas. Therefore, oral medications that stimulate the production of insulin by the pancreas are not suitable. Such patients require insulin injections to control their blood glucose level. For patients with type 2 diabetes, initial treatment may involve only oral medications or insulin injections. Some patients may require a combination of both treatments to achieve optimal control of their blood glucose levels. Therefore, it is obvious that variations in treatment are individualised, than general.
- Amputation is inevitable for Diabetics
Excess blood sugar decreases the elasticity of blood vessels and causes them to narrow, impeding blood flow. This can lead to a reduced supply of blood and oxygen, increasing the risk of high blood pressure and damage to blood vessels. High blood pressure increases the force of blood through your arteries and can damage artery walls. When poorly controlled, diabetes can lead to blood vessel damage in the long run, which in turn leads to complications like foot ulcers and amputation, nerve damage, blindness, kidney failure, heart disease, and even stroke. However, such complications are avoidable if diabetes is properly managed. Owing to this, it is important for diabetic patients to go for regular screenings of their feet, eyes and kidneys to monitor for the above mentioned complications, which could be best avoided.
- People with Diabetes should avoid Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates may raise blood glucose levels as they are broken down into glucose to provide energy for the body. However, carbohydrates are present in a variety of foods (including fruit and vegetables), which may also be important sources of other nutrients. Hence, it may not be practical to totally avoid carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates take time to break-down compared to simple sugars. Transit time helps insulin to act. Consulting a dietician, who can offer advice on a suitable diet for diabetic patients is recommended.
- Diabetics can eat Snacks or Candies with No added sugar or that are Diabetic-friendly
Snacks or candies that have no added sugar or that are made for diabetics are preferred alternatives to regular snacks, since they may contain less sugar; the sugar in these products may have been replaced by artificial sweeteners. However, snacks or candies tend to be of low nutritional value and can be high in fat. Hence, it would be a good practice to take a look at the content of the products before consumption. It is all about adding calories, which is a complete no.
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