MYTHS AND FACTS: TYPE 1 DIABETES

If you are a patient of type 1 diabetes or have any sibling, relative, or friend having the same condition, you might have many preconceived notions about the illness. However, many of these notions might just be myths which have come to you from sources which cannot be relied upon. Let’s get some clarity on this

MYTH

Eating excess sugar and obesity are responsible for type 1 diabetes.1

FACT

Excessive sugar intake and obesity have been shown to have no role in the development of type 1 diabetes. In fact, type 1 diabetes is caused when the body’s defense system (immune system) destroys the cells in the pancreas that make insulin. Insulin is a hormone that controls the blood sugar level. The exact reason why the immune system behaves in this manner is still not known; however, scientists believe that both genetic and environmental factors may have a possible involvement in causing type 1 diabetes.2

MYTH

People with type 1 diabetes should stop eating sugar or sweets completely.1

FACT

Usually, majority of the people with type 1 diabetes use long-acting insulin, which continues to lower the blood sugar levels over 24 hours. It means that this insulin will continue to lower the blood sugar even if an individual does not consume any dietary carbohydrates (source of glucose). This situation can lead to a dip in the blood sugar levels, which is known as hypoglycemia.3 In such a scenario, the patient needs to be provided some or the other form of sugar or sweet to maintain his/her sugar levels.4

MYTH

It is contagious and you can catch it from someone else.1

FACT

Type 1 diabetes is definitely not contagious as people do not catch it from one another as in case of cold or chickenpox. Although the exact cause of type 1 diabetes is still not found, there is enough evidence to suggest that genes and environmental factors have an important role to play in it.1

MYTH

Too much of insulin causes an insulin addiction.5

FACT

Insulin is a hormone, which is naturally secreted in your body. In case of type 1 diabetes, the body cells that produce insulin are affected. So, your body cannot make insulin on its own. It requires to be provided with insulin via injections or via insulin pumps. Since insulin doses have to be taken as per the doctor’s advice, there are absolutely no chances of getting addicted to it.5

MYTH

Insulin can cause many complications or even death.5

FACT

When you see that people around you die because of the complications of diabetes, you might be forced to believe that insulin causes complications or death. However, you might be missing an important point that insulin might have delayed or even prevented these complications if those people had been started on it earlier.5

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USA JONES

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USA JONES

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USA JONES

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