August 12, 2010

Common Misconceptions of Diabetes Debunked

diabetes symptoms, diabetes test strips, diabetes treatmentMore than three million people living in Canada have some form of diabetes, a condition that results from blood sugar problems. There are two variations of diabetes; Type 1 Diabetes, which occurs mainly in adolescents and children when the pancreas is unable to produce insulin, and Type 2 Diabetes, which occurs when the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin, or if the body is unable to properly use the insulin produced. Insulin is the hormone that is responsible for controlling the blood sugar levels in the body. Type 2 diabetes is the more common form of diabetes; ninety percent of all diabetes patients have type two diabetes.

Although diabetes has become a more common condition within the Canadian community, there are many misconceptions that are frequently associated with the cause, lifestyle and treatment of diabetes.

The Cause: There are many myths surrounding the cause of diabetes, which detail that diabetes is caused by eating too much sugar, or by being overweight, or even by being exposed to another person with diabetes. The truth of the matter is that diabetes develops as a result of the body’s inability to produce or use insulin properly, causing blood sugar levels to drop or rise to unhealthy levels. There are many risk factors that contribute to diabetes. Although eating too much sugar isn’t necessarily healthy, the sugar that you eat doesn’t have a direct impact on your blood sugar. Being overweight has a definite impact on your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, however there are other risk factors as well, including family history, hypertension and high cholesterol. Diabetes is not contagious, and cannot be passed from one person to another.

The Lifestyle: Most people believe that diabetics have special diets and must refrain from eating certain foods, especially sugary foods. It’s true that diabetes patients are required to eat a healthy diet, however that same healthy diet is recommended for everyone. Most diabetic meal plans are low in fat, moderate in salt and sugar, with plenty of whole grain foods as well as fruit and vegetables. Many diabetic meal plans will also allow for desserts and sugary treats. There’s nothing that a person with diabetes cannot eat, the only difference is that diabetic patients should generally regulate the foods that they eat with exercise or healthy eating in order to stay on top of their condition.

The Treatment: The most common misconceptions about diabetes are concerning treatment methods; those who have diabetes are doomed because diabetes is untreatable. This myth is far from the truth, because although there is no cure for diabetes, there are many different treatment options, all of which allow for one to lead an easy and normal life. Doctors recommend a variety of treatment options for diabetic patients, ranging from exercise to nutrition to weight management to diabetes medication to the treatment of high blood pressure.

This post is also available in: Spanish

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