DoctorOnCall.com.my FEATURE ARTICLE
Let’s talk about one of the most common chronic illnesses in the world. Do you know that diabetes kills more Americans every year than AIDS and breast cancer combined?
There are number of myths that are too commonly reported as facts. So its hard to know which one is fact and which one is myth. So here you go, these are the 15 myths most people always said about Diabetes!
1- Diabetic? No sugar for you!
NOPE! Diabetic people need to eat balanced diet, which can include some sugar in moderation. People with diabetes CAN eat sugar.
2- Only fat people will get Type 2 diabetes
FALSE: 20% of people with type 2 diabetes are of a normal weight, or underweight. Surprise, surprise!
3- Diabetic people will go blind and lose their legs
Yes, diabetes is a leading cause of blindness and also causes many amputations each year BUT it doesn’t happen to all people with diabetes. As long as they can control their blood pressure, glucose, weight and quit smoking, they will be fine.
4- Injecting insulin is painful
FALSE: If you take insulin injections, it doesn’t have to hurt. In fact, it shouldn’t hurt! Practice good injection technique and you won’t feel a thing!
Here’s a tip: After selecting and cleaning an injection site, firmly–but not tightly–pinch up an area about 2–3 inches wide. Inject at a 90 degree angle while the skin is pinched. Leave the needle in while you relax the pinch. Count to five slowly. Then remove the needle. Do not massage the area after the injection.
5- Diabetes is caused by eating too much sugar.
FALSE: Type 1 diabetes is caused by genetics and unknown factors that trigger its onset. Type 2 is caused by genetics and lifestyle factors. If you’re overweight and love sugary drinks, that will increases your risk for developing type 2.
6- People with Type 1 Diabetes can’t play sports or exercise.
FALSE: They can be football players, hikers, gym bunnies, basketball stars, surfers – the sky’s the limit!
7- Women with diabetes shouldn’t get pregnant.
FALSE: As long as the women can manage their diabetes well, they can have a normal pregnancy and give birth to a healthy baby.
8- They know when their blood glucose level goes too low.
FALSE: Well, not always. Some people cannot feel the symptoms of low blood glucose, or hypoglycemia, which can be dangerous.
9- You have to lose a LOT of weight for your diabetes to improve.
FALSE: Losing just 7% of your body weight can offer significant health benefits if you’re a diabetic!
10- You’ll know if you have diabetes by your symptoms.
FALSE: Well again, not always. Type 2 diabetes often goes undiagnosed because it usually has few or no symptoms when it first develops.
11- People with diabetes can’t donate blood.
FALSE: They can donate blood as long as their diabetes is well controlled. If you’re wondering, no, their blood is not “sweet”.
12- Diabetes is Contagious! Stay Away!
FALSE: This has been going around since the 60’s. Diabetes is categorised as being a “non-communicable illness”, meaning it cannot be passed on by sneezing, touching, nor via blood etc. The only way in which diabetes can be passed on is from parents to their own children; genetically.
13- People with type 2 diabetes who need to use insulin are in a big trouble.
FALSE: Type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease, and most people will start with oral medication and eventually, they will need to go on insulin. Starting insulin doesn’t mean you’ve done a bad job—just the opposite, in fact! Insulin will help you to better manage your diabetes and lowers your risk of developing complications.
14- People with diabetes need to follow a special diet.
FALSE: People with diabetes are normal people too. As long as its a healthy diet; plenty of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, with a limited amount of fat and refined sugar — It’s OKAY!
15- People with diabetes are weak and more likely to be ill.
FALSE: People with diabetes are NOT more likely to have colds or other illnesses. However, an illness can make your diabetes more difficult to control.
Dr Adeline Carol Peters practices in Mediviron UOA, KL and on DoctorOnCall. She loves playing the piano in her spare time.
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