6 Most Common Myths Related to Diabetes
There are several myths and misconceptions related to Diabetes that must be clarified for proper management of this disease. Basically, diabetes is a metabolic disorder caused when the pancreas stops producing a hormone called insulin, or when insulin does not work properly. This peptide hormone regulates carbohydrate and fat metabolism in the body. It removes excess glucose from the blood. Thus, insufficient production of ineffective utilization of insulin leads to high levels of blood sugar.
Type 1 diabetes or juvenile diabetes is usually caused by a genetic predisposition whereas.
Type 2 diabetes can be caused by genetic as well as lifestyle factors.
However, there are various myths concerning the development and management of diabetes that can make it difficult to understand this serious disease.
6 Most Common Myths Related to Diabetes
Myth 1: Being Overweight Causes Diabetes
Fact: The causes of diabetes are still more complicated. Being overweight is definitely a risk factor associated with type 2 diabetes. The causes of type 1 diabetes—formerly known as “juvenile diabetes”—are genetics and other unknown factors. Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, is caused by lifestyle factors as well as genetics. Being overweight, eating an unhealthy diet, and a lack of physical activity can all make developing diabetes more likely, but most people will still not develop the disease. Other risk factors include a family history of diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, being over the age of 45, polycystic ovary syndrome, and suffering from gestational diabetes while pregnant.
Myth 2: Eating Too Much Sugar Causes Type 2 Diabetes
Experts don’t fully understand what causes type 2 diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, the body becomes resistant to insulin or doesn’t produce enough insulin. Insulin is the hormone that helps cells use blood sugar—or glucose—for energy. In either case, blood sugar levels start to rise because insulin isn’t working properly. The result is diabetes. Healthy eating—limiting fat, sugar, salt and cholesterol—is an important part of staying healthy for all adults.
Myth 3: Diabetic People Should Not Exercise Much
Fact: Physical exercise is good for Diabetics. Exercise helps burn the extra fat, reduces stress levels and helps control cholesterol and blood sugar levels. A good fitness regime helps you keep a healthy body, mind, and heart. An uncontrolled disease may put your heart, nervous and immune system to risk, regular exercising helps you fight all these odds.
Myth 4: Diabetes is Not a Serious Disease
Fact: It sure is. Diabetes itself won’t kill you, Murphy says, but if you don’t take careful steps to manage it, complications could. Left unchecked, diabetes can lead to heart disease, stroke, amputations, blindness, and kidney disease—none of which is worth forgoing treatment (here are 7 scary things that can happen if you don’t treat your diabetes). “When sugar builds up in your blood, it affects your blood vessels and nerve endings,” Murphy says, eventually contributing to these harrowing side effects.
Myth 5: Sugar-free Foods Won’t raise blood sugar, so you can eat as much as you please
Sure, your diet ice cream has “Sugar-Free” plastered all over it, but that doesn’t mean you have free reign to delve in without restraint. While, yes, zero-calorie natural sweeteners, artificial sweeteners, and sugar alcohols do not affect blood sugar, don’t be misled into believing sugar is the only nutrient that will raise your blood glucose levels. Snyder tells us that “all carbohydrates turn to sugar in the blood,” so you should always scope out the “Total Carbohydrates” line on a food label to see how many carbs you’re eating. (Looking for more tips on how to tackle the back of the box? Be sure to check out these 20 Ultimate TIps for Finally Understanding Nutrition Labels.)
Snyder points out that another issue with sugar-free foods “is that the label can often mislead us to believe they are healthier than they are and cause us to eat more than our usual portion size,” which can spell out disaster for our belly fat. She explains, “Often times, they have the same number of calories as the regular item.”
Myth 6: Diabetes Is Contagious
Diabetes is not contagious. Genes play role in one’s susceptibility to both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Exposure to certain environmental factors, like viruses, may trigger the development of diabetes.