23 APRIL Diabetes: Lifting the Veil with Myths and Facts
Diabetes, according to the Mayo Clinic, is a group of diseases that affect how your body processes blood sugar, or glucose levels. Glucose is important because not only is it an important source of energy for the cells that make up your muscles and tissues, but it is also a source of fuel for your brain. No matter what type of diabetes is present, it ultimately leads to too much sugar in your blood, which can ultimately cause some very serious health problems and complications.
Some of the myths surrounding diabetes can be very damaging to not only the people who are living with this illness, but also those who are in close proximity, such as caregivers and family members of those diagnosed with this disease. We would like to take this opportunity to dispel some of these myths, provided by the American Diabetes Association, and expose the facts to help the community at large to better understand this potentially fatal condition.
Myth 1: Diabetes is not a serious illness.
The fact is diabetes actually causes more annual deaths than breast cancer and AIDS combined. And, having diabetes almost doubles your chance of having a heart attack. However, knowing the risks, and maintaining good diabetes control can reduce the risks for diabetes related complications.
Myth 2: Diabetes is caused by eating too much sugar.
Type 1 diabetes is solely caused by genetics and it is still unknown as to which factors trigger it; type 2, however, is caused by genetics AND lifestyle factors. Being overweight increases the risk for developing type 2 diabetes, and a diet high in calories from any source contributes to weight gain. Research has shown that sugary drinks are linked to type 2 diabetes, as many people do not pay attention to how much sugar is in the beverages we consume on a daily basis.
Myth 3: You have to lose a LOT of weight for diabetes to improve.
In fact, you only need to lose about 7% of your body weight to see significant improvements in your health. That translates to only about 15lbs if you weigh 200lbs.
Myth 4: People with diabetes need to follow a strict and specific diet for their condition.
The truth is, people living with diabetes would benefit from the same healthy diet that is good for everyone else! That includes plenty of vegetables and occasional fruits, whole grains and lean proteins, limiting your intake of fats and refined sugars.
Dispelling myths is the best way to address the stigma of any illness. If you have any questions about diabetes, whether you are living with the condition, or have a loved one you are supporting, contact your provider at Patriot Healthcare, and we would be happy to discuss this condition in greater detail with you.