Myths and facts about diabetes

Myth:  Diabetes is a contagious disease

Fact:    Diabetes is not a contagious disease  which can be caught like a cold or flu.

Myth:  Diabetes is caused by eating too much sugar.
Fact:    No .Type 1 diabetes is caused by genetics and unknown factors that trigger the onset of the disease. Type 2 diabetes is caused by genetics and life style factors.

Myth:  Diabetes can be cured.
Fact:   Diabetes cannot be cured but can only be controlled with drugs, life style management.

Myth: Diabetes can be controlled only by strict adherence to diet and exercise.
Fact: Drugs will be needed in majority of patients and strict adherence to diabetic diet and exercise will help in controlling the diabetic state with drugs.

Myth: Only older people get diabetes.
Fact:  Younger people also can get diabetes.

Myth : Diabetes can be transmitted sexually or through  blood transfusion
Fact:  Diabetes is not a communicable disease. You can’t get it from someone else no matter  what you do.

Myth:  People with diabetes cannot engage in athletes.
Fact:  People with diabetes can engage in athletes. There are countless examples of athletes who have had great success from Olympic gold medalist swimmer Gary Hall to base ball great Ron Santo to cricket great Wasim Akram.

Myth:  Diabetics should not marry.
Fact:   Diabetics can marry.

Myth:  Women with diabetes should not get pregnant.
Fact:  Women with diabetes can get pregnant but requires good blood sugar control during pregnancy. 

Myth :  If parents have diabetes, their children always will get diabetes
Fact:   Not necessarily. Diabetes is partially hereditary.

Myth:  If you feel ok, your blood sugar does not matter.
Fact:  Absence of symptoms does not mean good diabetes control. Diabetes control is assessed  only by blood glucose monitoring.

Myth: Diabetics should not take fruits.
Fact:  Fruits is a healthy food with fibre,  lots of nutrition and minerals and need to be taken. Talk to your doctor about the amount and types of fruits you should eat.

Myth:  Diabetic medications have too many side effects.
Fact:  Perhaps not. They are safe drugs but needs  regular monitoring by your doctor.

Myth:  A diabetes diagnosis means you automatically need insulin.  
Fact:  That’s the case with type 1 diabetes but not with type 2 diabetes. In some cases, proper   diet, exercise and oral medications can keep type 2 diabetes under control  for some time before insulin may  become necessary.

Myth:  Person with diabetes will eventually get complications.
Fact:  Complications are not inevitable. Good diabetic control can help in preventing  complications.

Myth:  Diabetes should not consume rice.
Fact:   Rice can be taken by diabetic patients.

Myth: Having diabetes automatically excludes you from donating blood
Fact:  Having diabetes does not automatically exclude you from donating blood. The American Red Cross states that people with diabetes may donate blood if they meet certain guidelines:

Myth :  You can eat everything you want as long as you take your medication                                                
Fact:  The increased consumption of refined carbohydrates and foods rich in saturated fats, increases the risk of diabetic complications, even if you receive a higher dose of medication.

Myth:  If I stop eating sugar, my diabetes will go away.                                                
Fact:   Stopping eating sugar will help in controlling diabetic state, not cure it

Myth:  Diabetic individuals will have decreased life expectancy.
Fact:    Diabetic individuals with well controlled diabetes will have normal life expectancy like a non diabetic individual.

Dr.M.Suresh Babu,  Associate Prof of Medicine, JSS Medical College Hospital   & Secretary, API, Mysore Chapter

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