September 1, 2014
More Myths about Type 2 Diabetes
I admit I have a difficult time following some people and where they come up with some of the ideas about diabetes. Fortunately, those in our support group know better and even we get tired of some of these ideas. A few will listen to us, but others have some of these ideas buried in their psyche and nothing we say can change their mind.
Myth 1 Obesity and laziness cause diabetes. Being obese and not exercising can be risk factors for type 2 diabetes, but they are not the cause of diabetes. Most people forget about genetic factors and heredity of type 2 being in some families. Even thin people develop type 2 diabetes, but many people conveniently forget about this. In type 2 diabetes, the body can no longer make or use insulin properly.
Myth 2 You won’t always have diabetes; your doctor can cure it. This is a belief that is hard to beat back. We are told that this is the twenty-first century and there has to be a cure. Another statement many make is that your doctor is not telling you everything and holding back the cure so there is something to treat. All I can say is BS, and I don't mean blood sugar.
Type 2 diabetes is incurable; once you have it, you will always have it. However, you can keep your diabetes under tight management with diet, exercise, and medications so that you can live an otherwise normal life with minimum damage.
Myth 3 You can’t prevent diabetes. Eating a healthful meal plan and getting daily physical activity can prevent almost 80 percent of Type 2 diabetes cases. Keeping weight in the ideal range will also help.
Myth 4 You can feel when your blood glucose is too high or low. There is no guarantee that what you are feeling is accurate. Some people are irritable during elevated blood glucose and after a recent type 2 diagnosis, many can experience shaky, dizzy, or lightheaded when blood glucose drops rapidly. Other experiences can be an increase in urinating when blood glucose is elevated, but this could indicate a bladder infection. Testing is the only way to be sure if your blood glucose is high or low. Do not trust your feelings.
Myth 5 When you have diabetes, you can’t eat sweets. This is partly true and most people don't need them. Many people think that if you eliminate other carbohydrates they can have sweets, but they don't realize that most sweets have more carbohydrates than they have allowed. Others say that they are doing extra exercise to make eating sweets possible, but again they eat more than the exercise relieved. Many people overeat sweets when their blood glucose levels drop below 70 mg/dl. Generally, they would be smarter eating glucose tablets of known glucose amounts rather than sweets which might not be known. Then they wonder why they go high and often yo-yo up and down, especially on certain oral medications and insulin.
Myth 6 If you eat right and exercise, monitor your blood glucose, and take your meds or insulin correctly, you can keep your diabetes under tight management.
Oh, if it was that easy! However, there are other factors that affect your management. Illness, injuries, stress, hormone changes, and periods of aging that can cause blood glucose to become unmanageable. Even when you do everything correct, managing diabetes isn't always easy and corrections are needed. Many people do not believe this and diabetes becomes progressive and the complications flourish.
Myth 7 Diabetes only affects old people. Diabetes affects all age groups and the sooner people wake up to this, the better prevention can become.
Myth 8 Diabetes is not a killer disease. Diabetes is a global killer, rivaling HIV/AIDS in its deadly reach. The disease kills more than 4 million people a year. Every 7 seconds a person dies from diabetes-related causes.
Myth 9 Diabetes only affects rich countries. Diabetes affects all populations, regardless of income. It is becoming increasingly common everywhere.