Thursday, March 14, 2013

Diabetes Myths: These Ain't True

Myth: Eating too much sugar causes diabetes.

Fact: The answer is not so simple. Type 1 diabetes is caused by genetics and unknown factors that trigger the onset of the disease; Type 2 diabetes is caused by genetics and lifestyle factors.
Being overweight does increase your risk for developing Type 2 diabetes, and a diet high in calories from any source contributes to weight gain. The American Diabetes Association recommends that people should limit their intake of sugar-sweetened beverages to help prevent diabetes. Sugar-sweetened beverages include beverages like Regular Soda (Coke, Fanta, Pepsi etc.), Fruit Punch, Fruit Drinks, Energy Drinks, Sports Drinks, Sweet Tea and Other Sugary Drinks.
These will raise blood glucose and can provide several hundred calories in just one serving!

Myth: People with diabetes can never eat sweets.
Fact: You can have your cake and eat it too, just not the whole cake! People with diabetes need to control the amount of carbohydrates in their diet and sugary treats counts as carbohydrates. But these doesn’t mean that they can’t have any sweets, it just means that they should put the brakes on eating too much of them. Eating of these foods can also make it less likely you’ll want to eat healthier foods.

Myth: Diabetes is contagious
Fact: Diabetes is not contagious, which means you can't get it from another person. Scientists don't know exactly how people get Type1 diabetes, but they think it may be associated with something in the environment, like a virus. But even coming into contact with such a virus doesn't mean someone will definitely get diabetes. People with Type 1 diabetes have to inherit genes that make them more likely to get diabetes.

Myth: Insulin cures diabetes.
Fact: Diabetes is a condition that you manage with insulin, but insulin can't cure it. Insulin helps get glucose out of the blood and into the cells, where it's used for energy. This helps to keep your blood sugar levels under control, but taking insulin doesn't correct the reason why diabetes developed, nor does it make the diabetes go away.

Myth: All people with diabetes need to take insulin.

Fact: All people with Type 1 diabetes have to take insulin injections because their pancreases don't make insulin anymore. Some, but not all people with Type 2 diabetes have to take insulin — with or without other diabetes medications — to manage their blood sugar levels.

Myth: People can outgrow diabetes.
Fact: People don't grow out of their diabetes. In Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas stops making insulin and won't make it again. People with Type 1 diabetes will always need to take insulin, until scientists find a cure for diabetes. People with Type 2 diabetes may find it easier to control blood sugar levels if they make healthy changes to their lives, like eating right and exercising regularly. But people with Type 2 diabetes will probably always have the tendency to develop high blood sugar levels, so it's important to maintain those healthy lifestyle changes.

Myth: Pills for diabetes are a form of insulin
Fact: Diabetes medicines that a person takes in pill form are not insulin. Insulin is a protein that would be broken down and destroyed by the acids and digestive enzymes in the stomach and intestines if swallowed. That's why insulin has to be given as a shot. People with Type 2 diabetes sometimes take pills that help the body make more insulin or use the insulin it makes more effectively (remember, people with Type 2 diabetes still make insulin, the body just can't respond to it normally). Pills for diabetes cannot help people with Type 1 diabetes because their bodies don't make insulin.

Myth: Having to take more insulin means diabetes is getting worse.
Fact: There is no one-size-fits-all insulin dose. Insulin doses are different for each person. How fast you're aging, how much you eat, how active you are, and whether you're going through puberty, menopause or any life stages are all things that affect the amount of insulin you'll need each day and insulin doses often need to be changed over time.

Myth: People with diabetes can't exercise.
Fact: Exercise is important for all people — with or without diabetes! Exercise has many benefits. In addition to helping keep your weight under control (which is helpful for managing diabetes), exercise is good for your heart and lungs, it helps you burn off some steam, and it relieves stress. And exercise is great for blood sugar control to your diabetes health care team about exercising and managing your blood sugar.

Photo credit: Google Images


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