Diabetes is a disease that unfortunately has become a common part of our communities -- which means it has become part of our lives.
Did you know that 29 millions Americans, or approximately 10 percent of the population are currently living with diabetes? By the year 2050, as many as 1 in 3 adults will be living with diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Even though diabetes has become such a common disease there are still many myths about it and how to treat it.
The definition of a myth is an idea or story that is believed by many people but that is not true. Myths are dangerous because since they are believed by many, people don’t realize that they are not true.
In preparing for this post I found several myths about diabetes that need to be corrected. I have chosen my top five to share with you in this post.
5) Myth: Diabetes is not a serious disease.
Diabetes is a serious disease that can often be controlled through diet, exercise, stress management and medications. Diabetes is considered serious because it takes more lives than breast cancer and HIV/AIDS combined. It is the seventh leading cause of death.
Diabetes is also considered serious because it increases of your risk of heart disease. Two-thirds of the people with diabetes will die of a heart attack or stroke.
Finally diabetes is considered a serious disease because the complications can drastically change a person’s daily activities. Complications include amputation, blindness and kidney disease.
4) Myth: You have to be overweight to develop diabetes. Thin people don't get the disease.
People that are overweight are at a higher risk of developing diabetes than thin individuals but thin people can still develop diabetes.They can still develop insulin resistance or metabolic disorders in their bodies.
Even if you are thin, if you have risk factors for diabetes you should be tested for diabetes at your next doctor’s visit.
Risk factors include:
- - Being over the age of 45
- - A sedentary lifestyle
- - Being African-American, Asian, Hispanic or Native American
- - Family history of diabetes
- - Personal history of gestational diabetes, heart disease or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- - High blood pressure, high cholesterol or high triglyceride levels
3) Myth: People with diabetes can't eat sweets or chocolate.
The key to managing diabetes is maintaining normal blood sugar levels. A healthy lifestyle includes moderate exercise, and balanced and portion-controlled meals with appropriate levels of proteins, carbohydrates and good fats. Small amounts of chocolate or sweets can be allowed as part of a balanced meal.
2) Myth: A diabetes diagnosis automatically means you need insulin.
Insulin shots are only required if a person’s pancreas is no longer producing insulin. This is the case in Type 1 diabetes. Most Americans diagnosed with diabetes have Type 2 and can take oral medications to manage their disease. In Type 2 diabetes, the pancreas is still producing insulin so oral medications may be all that is needed.
1) Myth: People with diabetes have to follow a special diet.
A healthy diet for a person with diabetes can be identical to the diet of anyone striving to have a healthy lifestyle. A healthy diet is whole foods based. It needs to include lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts or seeds, and healthy fats, like olive oil.
Tasteless and bland meals are not required for a person living with diabetes. A diet that has a healthy balance of carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats to manage blood sugars, will work.
You can live with diabetes and thrive especially when you know the facts about diabetes. To learn more about diabetes check out www.Diabetes.org.
Dr. Dae's website: www.healthydaes.comThis article was first published on www.EmpowHer.com.