Being diagnosed with diabetes is one thing, but post that, living with this lifestyle condition is a totally different ball game. While those diagnosed are lucky in the sense that they become aware of their condition and can begin taking the necessary steps for diabetes management, the majority population is not even aware they have a health problem called diabetes and end up dealing with the complications.
Diabetes is looked at as a disease which is social taboo. Considered a disease which takes away joy and happiness from the patient’s life, several myths surround this lifestyle condition, some of which are mere misconceptions while others are downright dangerous beliefs. Let us clear the cloud:
- Diabetes Gets Worse with Time
This is one of the most dangerous beliefs, especially for the diabetic patient’s mental and physical health. Diabetes progresses and becomes worse only if you follow the outdated ways to manage it on a day to day basis. Consult a diabetes educator and plan your personalized diabetes management regime to live a joyful life with diabetes.
- Only Overweight People Get Diabetes – Thin People Don’t
Although obesity is a major contributor to type 2 diabetes along with a person’s genetics, it is not the only cause. Age is definitely a concern as people aged 45 years and above have higher risk of developing diabetes, especially if they follow a sedentary lifestyle. It is hence advised to test your blood sugars often if you are above 45 years. Family history of diabetes is the biggest risk for this condition but this too can be managed by following a healthy and active lifestyle.
- Eating Too Much Sugar Causes Diabetes
Excessive consumption of sugar can definitely trigger diabetes in people with pre-diabetes or other predisposition. Sugar overdose leads to weight gain which in turn can raise risk of diabetes but eating sugar is not a direct cause of diabetes.
- People with Diabetes Have to Follow a Special Restricted Diet
Healthy diet suggestions are given to diabetics in order to help them eat the right amount of calories and carbs so as not to raise their glucose levels. But diet for diabetes is no different from a healthy diet prescribed for any non-diabetic too. Variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, low-fat dairy products, and moderate amounts of healthy fats like those in canola oil and olive oil is what makes a healthy diet for a diabetic. They can also enjoy sweets when taken in consultations with an expert.
- Diabetes Leads to Blindness, Amputations, Kidney Dysfunction
When blood glucose levels are well managed along with following a healthy diet and lifestyle pattern consistently, diabetes related complications can be well managed. Only poorly controlled sugar levels result in serious complications like diabetes retinopathy, neuropathy and nephropathy.
- Managing my Diabetes is my Doctor’s Job
Diabetes demands ownership of their condition from the patient. Friends, loved ones and your doctor will all support you by going out of their way, but the final onus lies on the person to take full responsibility of their condition and live a healthy, happy life with diabetes. Diet, exercise, and controlling stress are integral aspects of diabetes management, in fact more important than medication.
- Diabetes Will Project Visible Symptoms
Spikes in blood sugar levels seldom project visible symptoms, especially in case of mild increase. However, more visible symptoms of diabetes include fatigue, excessive thirst, weight loss, sores that don’t heal, and more frequent urination.
Living with diabetes is no burden if one simply manages their daily diet, lifestyle and exercise regime. Regular monitoring of blood sugar levels using a compact smartphone glucometer is helpful in managing diabetes from the comfort of your home or office.
Guest Writer: Aishani Gupta