Contributed by- Dr. Pooja Chaudhary
Diabetes, the silent killer, is one of the most prevalent and complicated diseases!
Diabetes is a long term or a chronic disease in which our body is not able to regulate the required amount of glucose in the blood, leading to high blood glucose or blood sugar levels.
Blood glucose: It is the primary source of energy in the body and comes from the food we eat. Our pancreas is responsible for the formation of insulin (a hormone) in the body, that helps the cells to use this glucose for energy conversion. When our body is not able to use insulin or make enough insulin, then the glucose is not able to reach the cells. With time the excess of glucose stored in the body leads to various health issues.
Chronic diabetes condition includes Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. The underlying cause for them varies, according to its type. But no matter the type of diabetes, it leads to elevated sugar levels in the blood causing severe health issues.
Almost everyone is aware of this disease nowadays and are always ready to share pieces of advice related to it. People feel they are informed about it and love to discuss various home remedies, treatment plans on diabetes prevention, early symptoms of diabetes, how to manage low blood sugar levels, etc. Well, it is good to listen to these bits of advice, but at the same time, there are various myths attached to it. However, these myths should not be ignored as diabetes comes with a lot of complications and it can be fatal.
Myths and Facts
Some of the common myths linked with diabetes are as follows:
Myths: Diabetes is only hereditary, or no one in my family has diabetes so I won’t have.
Fact: It is a fact that if diabetes runs in the family, then you are at high risk of getting it. It has been observed over the years that Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are more common with a family history of diabetes. But people can have diabetes with no family history at all. The other causes of type 2 diabetes include:
- Lifestyle and certain conditions
- Being overweight or obese
- Gestational diabetes
- Polycystic ovary conditions
- With advancing age (more than 45 years)
Myth: People who have diabetes can feel when their blood sugar level goes down.
Fact: Most people are aware of the symptoms of low glucose level. But at times people are not able to recognize or cannot feel that the blood sugar level is going down or they are suffering from hypoglycemia. The common symptoms of hypoglycemia or low blood sugar levels are:
- Feeling shaky
- Nervousness or anxiety
- Sweating, chills
- Being impatient or irritable
- Fast heartbeat/tachycardia
Myth: People can know they have diabetes by its symptoms.
Fact: This is not always the case. Type 2 diabetes mostly go undiagnosed as it has very few or no symptoms during its onset. The common symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes are:
- Frequent urination
- Frequently feeling thirsty
- Feeling hungry even after having meals
- Fatigued or tired most of the time
- Cuts or bruises that heal slowly
- Weight loss is common in Type 1 diabetes
- Tingling, pain or numbness in hands is common in type 2 diabetes
Myth: There is nothing to worry about gestation diabetes. It gets cured after delivery.
Fact: Gestational diabetes symptoms should not be ignored as it can put both the mother and the child at an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in the future.
Myth: There is no such thing as pre-diabetes or borderline diabetes.
Fact: Pre-diabetes or borderline diabetes is a condition in which the blood sugar levels are not in the diabetic range, but they are higher than the normal range. With pre-diabetic symptoms, the chances are that a person might develop diabetes in the next ten years.
Myths: Once my blood sugar levels are normal, I can stop the medication.
Facts: People who have diabetes tend to control their high blood sugar levels by medication, exercise or lifestyle modifications. But the most significant point which should not be ignored is that diabetes is a progressive disease and with time only medication can help in keeping the blood sugar levels at a normal range.
Myth: I have diabetes, so I can’t eat sugar.
Fact: Everyone loves sweets, and we all know that these sweets are merely loaded with sugar, which increases blood glucose levels. They are no off limits of these sweets for diabetic people if they plan for it. The amount of sugar intake depends on the person and the medication he/she is taking. It is one of the biggest and the oldest myth for diabetic patients.
Myth: People who have diabetes suffer from sexual dysfunction.
Fact: People with poorly controlled diabetes and high blood sugar levels can experience vaginal dryness, erectile dysfunction or reduced libido. But this is not common in all people living with diabetes.
There have been numerous myths regarding diabetes. Now it is the time to focus on the facts and ways to prevent this silent killer!
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