To fear is one thing but to fear a disease without any idea what it is all about is another. That is particularly true about diabetes – -one of the leading causes of mortality and morbidity in the Philippines and anywhere else in the world. We need sufficient knowledge to back us up in our battle to prevent diabetes but any information that was rehashed from unfounded beliefs can be as fatal as the disease itself. From disease process to diabetes management, a lot of false assumptions have led a lot of us to believe that diabetes is too complicated to treat. However, if you know to separate facts from fallacies, the intricacies of diabetes will transform into easier ways by which it can be prevented and managed.
Diabetes is mainly caused by too much sugar
Taking too much sugar in your diet is not considered healthy but it’s not the only factor that will increase your chance of developing diabetes. Type 1 diabetes, for example, is mainly linked to genetics so checking your family history will be a better way to weigh your diabetes risks. Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, is caused by a wide variety of lifestyle factors which includes obesity and sedentary lifestyle. Diet that are rich in calories, regardless if it’s rich in sugar or not, is what makes a person obese so there is actually no direct link that exists between diabetes and sugar. However, it’s always best to eat a balanced diet all the time.
Diabetes is a contagious disease
This is probably one of the most hilarious misconceptions about diabetes. Although it is true that some people just get the disease and some do not, that doesn’t mean you can transmit the disease to other person through direct, indirect or even sexual contact. Not only that this assumption is totally outrageous, it can also create negative stereotypes and social stigma for those people suffering the disease.
Diabetic people should never eat foods with carbohydrates
The key to diabetes management is moderation so completely removing any form of carbohydrates out of one’s diet is not recommended. Although it is true that carbohydrates releases sugar in the blood and the reason why a diabetic person is taking insulin in the first place, we all need carbohydrates as our daily source of energy. Whole grain foods are more recommended for diabetic people because unlike refined products, they contain more fiber and phytonutrients that not only help in diabetes management or prevention but also decrease one’s risk of cancer and heart-related problems.
Diabetic people should stop eating sweet desserts
This one’s misleading because in order for you to know what to avoid and what to eat, you should first consult your doctor. In some cases, a doctor will allow a person to eat moderate amounts of sweet desserts as long as the usual components of a diabetic diet are there and sufficient amount of exercise is being done on a daily basis.
Diabetes is not deadly
Compared to cancer, diabetes is not that notorious in claiming people’s lives. However, as soon as diabetes is not controlled or medical attention is not given to a patient, a person can actually die from various complications that can arise from this disease. You can even get blind and be amputated if you don’t give special care to your body once you are diagnosed with diabetes.
Photo credit: invisabilities.org