This post deals with some of the most common beliefs, facts about diabetes and its management. You probably know someone with diabetes or maybe you have diabetes. For every person diagnosed with type II diabetes, there is another one that remains undiagnosed. It is time to learn more about this epidemic.
Myth 1. Diabetes is a disease that only fat people suffer from
Having extra weight, especially around the waist, is an important risk factor for type II diabetes. But, genetics also play a key role. That is, some people who have extra weight do not develop diabetes.
While others who are thin will suffer from the disease.
It is the interaction between our genes and our lifestyle that influences the development of type II diabetes. Genetically predisposed people pay the price for following the Western lifestyle, developing diabetes. Weight does not play a vital role! In fact, most people with type I lose weight before being diagnosed due to lack of insulin.
Myth 2. Diabetes is not a serious illness
Unfortunately, it is not true with the increase of diabetics in the coming decades, diabetes is something we should all take seriously. The sad reality is that diabetes, especially when it is not managed well, can lead to health problems such as:
Problems in blood vessels, etc.
There can even be problems that lead to amputations.
The good news is that, with proper management, the risk of these complications is significantly reduced.
We also know that up to 60 percent of cases of type II diabetes can be prevented with lifestyle changes. Early diagnosis and current treatments allow many people with diabetes to live a life relatively free of complications.
Myth 3. Should I forget about my favorite food?
Living habits, including a healthy diet, play an important role in the management of diabetes.But, there is no special diet for diabetics. A person with diabetes should follow a healthy diet, just like the rest of us. And this may include your favorite foods. There are some foods (for example, cakes, cakes, cookies, chips, candy, soda and fried fast food) that it is better to eat occasionally (in small portions) and not daily.
The timing and amount of food becomes more important, particularly for people who take medications or insulin, since the goal is to keep blood sugar levels as stable as possible. For a person with type II diabetes who is overweight, a healthy eating plan should also aim for gradual weight loss. The approach to type 1 diabetes is more about the insulin dose than the foods you eat.
What is insulin?
Insulin is a hormone produced by the cells of the pancreas.
When we eat carbohydrates, they are processed into glucose (the simplest form of sugar) that is absorbed into the bloodstream.
When glucose enters the bloodstream, insulin is released and helps in the transport of glucose to our muscles and cells, where it will be used as energy.
Without insulin, glucose accumulates in the blood (high blood sugar levels) and we are unable to use it as energy.
Myth 4. Too much sugar causes diabetes
There is no evidence whatsoever that by itself sugar causes diabetes.
While diabetes means having too much sugar in the blood, the relationship is not so simple. Type I diabetes occurs as a result of the immune system attacking its own insulin-producing cells. That has nothing to do with eating sugar.However, it would be valuable to know why the attack occurs.
And, in type II diabetes, insulin is unable to function properly to get glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream to access the muscles and cells.
This is made worse by being overweight, sedentary, and eating too much saturated fat.
Sugar, per se does not cause insulin resistance – although obviously when you eat in excess it can contribute to gain weight, which then increases the risk.
1. Facts about diabetes: There is no such thing as ‘mild’ diabetes
Some people with type 2 diabetes who do not take medications assume that their diabetes is mild or less severe, but unfortunately this is not really the case.
The reality is that if blood sugar levels are not controlled and the body stays at consistently high levels, then complications develop.
We also know that type II diabetes is a progressive disease and therefore, over time, the disease usually progresses to the point of needing tablets and then insulin.
Taking diabetes seriously from the start includes introducing appropriate lifestyle changes and taking medications when necessary.
Measures that will help slow down the progression and reduce the chances of developing complications.
2. Facts about Type 1 Diabetes
It occurs when the body’s immune system destroys the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. Without insulin-producing cells, the person with type I diabetes must obtain insulin either by injections or with an insulin pump.
It is also necessary to balance food, activity and insulin to maintain blood sugar levels as close as possible to normal values.
Type 1 diabetes accounts for about 10 percent of diabetes cases. It is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, but it can occur at any age.
3. Facts about type II diabetes
It develops because the body’s insulin is unable to function properly or when the body can not produce enough insulin to maintain normal blood sugar levels.
The risk of developing type II is greater in overweight and sedentary people.
Diet and exercise are the first line of treatment. But most people with type II diabetes will need oral medications and possibly insulin injections over time.
Type II diabetes accounts for 90 percent of people with diabetes. It is usually diagnosed in older people, unfortunately it is becoming increasingly common in children.
What you need to know about type II diabetes
Type II diabetes begins with a problem called insulin resistance.
The body’s insulin is unable to function properly, and the cells can not absorb glucose for energy, so glucose (sugar) stays in the blood.
Misconceptions about Diabetes
Therefore, eventually blood sugar levels increase, and prediabetes begins to develop, ending in type II diabetes.
For most people it is a gradual progression that lasts for many years.
But unfortunately often it is not diagnosed until in advanced stages when they have had high blood sugar levels for some time.
The main problem with diabetes is the damage to the blood vessels that occurs when blood sugar levels remain high for prolonged periods of time.
This can lead to heart disease, kidney disease, circulation problems and eye damage.
With lifestyle changes and the addition of medications as needed, you can avoid or significantly reduce the risk of developing these complications.
Early diagnosis and maintaining good control of blood sugar levels, cholesterol and blood pressure are key.
How to know if you are at risk
It is possible to have type II diabetes without symptoms, so knowledge of risk factors is key to early diagnosis.
The symptoms of diabetes can include excessive thirst, frequent urination, blurred vision and fatigue.
If you have a family history of diabetes, extra weight around the waist, or have high cholesterol and high blood pressure, your risk is higher and you should check yourself regularly.
Women who have polycystic ovary syndrome or who have had gestational diabetes or large children are also at greater risk.
The risk of type II diabetes also increases as we get older.
If you are worried, talk to your GP for a simple blood glucose test.
Taking early action significantly reduces the risk of developing diabetes.
Research has shown that people with prediabetes who make changes in diet, exercise and weight can reduce their risk by almost 60 percent.
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