This article presents the myths about diabetes that are common in our society today. Some of these beliefs started as mere hearsays which could bring unnecessary fear or carelessness in people. Knowing the facts can encourage you to take the right steps to prevent diabetes. Meanwhile, for people living with diabetes, knowing the truth about this disease can help you manage your condition more effectively.
MYTH: Diabetes kills brain cells and causes brain damage.
Some people believe that hypoglycemia- the condition where the blood sugar level becomes too low can kill brain cells and eventually damage the brain. However, medical researches prove that patients who suffer from hypoglycemia never lost their mental function.
Although hypoglycemia may cause headaches, confusion, heart palpitations and other symptoms, there is no direct link between hypoglycemia and brain damage. Nevertheless, people with diabetes or who have a hypoglycemic condition are advised to closely monitor their blood sugar levels to avoid experiencing unnecessary complications.
MYTH: People with diabetes are not allowed to exercise. On the contrary, diabetics are advised to have a sufficient amount of physical activity as one efficient way to keep diabetes in control. In a landmark study conducted during the 2002 Diabetes Prevention Program, it has been found that good nutrition, self-management education and physical activity are essential steps to preventing complications for diabetics. Exercise is also recommended for people who have been diagnosed to have a pre-diabetes condition in order to avoid developing Type 2 Diabetes.
The important thing to remember about this issue is doing an exercise routine that is suitable for your age and health condition. An exercise regimen doesn’t necessarily to be rigorous or straining especially for people over the age of 40 and for those who have been used to an inactive lifestyle. Walking and light exercises can make a big difference in improving the health of diabetics.
MYTH: Diabetes is only inherited.
There are two type of diabetes. The first type is usually inherited but the second type of diabetes can be developed at any stage in a person’s life, even a person who doesn’t have a history of diabetes in the family. In the past years, Type 2 diabetes is also referred to as Adult Onset Diabetes because it usually occurs during the later part of an adult’s life- particularly around age 40 and above.
Nevertheless, recent statistics show that an increasing number of Type 2 Diabetes cases are also found in both children and adolescents. Medical studies reveal that obesity and being overweight has a lot to do with this new trend in diabetes. Also, a person’s eating habits and lifestyle are major factors in the possibility of developing Type 2 Diabetes.
MYTH: You can always “feel” it if you have too high or too low levels of blood sugar in your body.
For some people, the usual symptoms of having too high or too low blood sugar level are not at all obvious. Therefore, relying solely on your feelings or on symptoms is not safe at all. You may already have an excessively high or low blood glucose levels without your knowledge. This is why diabetics are advised to monitor their blood sugar levels on a regular basis using a blood glucose meter.