MYTHS AND FACTS TYPE 2 DIABETES

There are several misconceptions that surround diabetes and its common variant type 2 diabetes. If you are a patient of type 2 diabetes or have any close relative diagnosed with the same ailment, you might be having many doubts or preconceived notions about the disease. This article will help you ward off some of the most common myths associated with type 2 diabetes.

MYTH

Type 2 diabetes is not at all a serious ailment.

FACT

2/3rd of the people with type 2 diabetes have a tendency to die from a heart attack or stroke.2 Also, type 2 diabetes can cause more deaths a year than breast cancer and AIDS combined together.1

MYTH

I can easily guess when my blood sugar is high or low, so I don’t need to test it.2

FACT

The symptoms of type 2 diabetes may mimic symptoms of several other common ailments. A feeling of weakness, dizziness, and shakiness may be because your blood sugar level is low or because you are down with a cold or flu. Increased visits to the washroom might be either because your blood sugar level is high or because you have a urine infection. Therefore, you can’t just depend on your feelings when it comes to analyzing your blood sugar level. Thus, the only way to know for sure is to check your blood sugar level.2

MYTH

If you are overweight or obese, you will surely get type 2 diabetes.2

FACT

Being overweight or obese is a strong risk factor for type 2 diabetes. However, that does not mean that every overweight or obese individual will surely get type 2 diabetes. There are several other risk factors such as a family history of diabetes, a sedentary lifestyle, or a high blood pressure which increase the chances of developing type 2 diabetes. The exact cause behind the events that trigger the occurrence of type 2 diabetes is still a topic of active research. Usually, a combination of risk factors is known to give rise to type 2 diabetes.2

MYTH

People with type 2 diabetes should eat only specialized diabetic foods.3

FACT

Contrary to the popular belief, a so-called healthy meal plan for individuals with diabetes is usually the same as a healthy meal for anyone. It involves foods low in saturated and trans fat, moderate in sugar and salt, and meals based on non-starchy vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, healthy fats, and fruit. ‘Diabetic’ foods per se offer no special benefits to patients with diabetes. Many of these foods can still raise the blood sugar levels and they are expensive as well.3

MYTH

Type 2 Diabetes is contagious.1

FACT

Not at all. Although we are not sure why some people develop diabetes, we certainly know that diabetes is not contagious. You do not catch diabetes as you catch a cold or flu. There seems to be a role of genetics in diabetes, particularly type 2 diabetes. Also, lifestyle factors play an important part.1

MYTH

Since fruits are healthy, you can have them as much as you want.3

FACT

Fruits are no doubt healthy since they contain both fiber and lots of vitamins and minerals. However, fruits also contain carbohydrates which can raise the blood sugar levels. So, you have to be extremely careful about which fruit you consume and in what quantity. Your dietician can help you choose the right fruit for you and also guide you on the servings of any particular fruit that you can consume.3

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USA JONES

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