He said, she said. Very often diabetics are asked to be careful about the food they consume. While many family members and friends mean well, it is quite common for many misconceptions surrounding diabetes to be easily spread without knowing the facts. This can affect the understanding of the disorder which can make matters difficult for diabetics and their caregivers.
It is important to clarify these misbeliefs and make sure only credible information on the topic of diabetes is passed around because diabetes’ treatment usually takes time and requires consistency.
Always check the validity of what you hear. So, here are some common myths debunked.
Myth 1: You will not get diabetes unless you are overweight.
Body mass index can be a risk factor for diabetes but it is not a causal factor. Not all obese people have diabetes nor is having an ideal body mass index going to prevent diabetes. There are several risk factors of getting diabetes and to avoid it would require a combination of efforts such as healthy diet, regular exercise and maintenance of ideal body weight.
Myth 2: If your parents are diabetic, then you will be too.
The fact that genetics is a risk factor remains. However, diabetes in children and in adults, whose parents have diabetes, can be prevented by managing one’s lifestyle. A healthy routine includes a balanced diet and regular exercise, both of which maintain an ideal body mass index.
Myth 3: Diabetes is contagious.
You cannot catch diabetes like a common cold or the flu. It is not an infectious disease that is transmittable through air, contact, water or other mediums.
The risk of developing diabetes is higher if you have parents or siblings with diabetes; excess body weight; high cholesterol; Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS); stress, and physical inactivity.
Myth 4: Diabetics will eventually lose their vision and legs.
This is, fortunately, false. It is not the standard final fate of diabetics to lose their vision and limbs. There are numerous instances of people with diabetes who have perfectly fine eyes and legs. Proper management of diabetes is vital. You can achieve this by taking responsibility; following your doctor’s advice; taking the medication as prescribed, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Myth 5: Diabetes makes life dysfunctional.
It is an unfounded assumption that diabetes will hinder your day-to-day activities. If the daily blood sugar level is regulated then diabetes will not be an obstacle in conducting life in general. In fact, an energetic lifestyle is encouraged among diabetics.
Myth 6: Absolutely no sugar if you have diabetes!
This may be surprising to some individuals, but how strictly sugar must be avoided depends on the person’s blood sugar level.
The number of sweets you can safely enjoy can be determined by regular blood sugar checks and responsible management of medication and routines. Being in touch with your doctor will be helpful as well. It is also important to remember that just because a food tastes sweet, that does not mean it contains sugar. Sugar substitutes such as sucralose are now commonly used to help diabetics enjoy the sweet taste of food without the calories.