Diabetes is globally an increasing threat to public health. The prevalence of diabetes is higher in the developing countries than that of the developed countries.
In a developing country like Bangladesh, the prevalence of diabetes is 5.6% and among them, the type 2 Diabetes is 95%, where the life style has changed. Readily available high-energy foods and physical inactivity lead to obesity and to diabetes in these susceptible populations. Main cause is lack of knowledge regarding diabetes and according to knowledge lacks of required attitude for practice those. Following myth and facts might be helpful to get a proper idea regarding diabetes and its good control.
Myth: Eating too much sugar causes diabetes.
Fact: Type 1 diabetes caused by a destruction of the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas, which is unrelated to sugar consumption. Type 2 diabetes results from the body’s inability to respond to insulin normally. Although the tendency to get type 2 diabetes is genetically inherited in most cases, eating too much sugar (or foods with sugar, like candy or regular soda) can cause weight gain, which can increase the risk for developing the disease.
Myth: Kids with diabetes can never eat sweets.
Fact: Kids with diabetes can eat a certain amount of sugary food as part of a balanced diet, but they need to control the total amount of carbohydrates they eat, which includes sugary treats. Because sweets provide no real nutritional value other than calories, they should be limited — but not necessarily eliminated. All kids (and adults!) should avoid excessive consumption of foods that provide little nutritional value and can crowd out healthier foods.
Myth: Persons with diabetes only have to worry about eating sugar.
Fact: Many people who have diabetes incorrectly believe that properly managing diabetes means only reducing their sugar intake. While management of carbohydrate intake (not just sugar as was once recommended) is a critical part of diabetes management, diabetes affects the entire body. Therefore, proper management needs to include a complete wellness plan that extends beyond basic diet guidelines.
Myth: Diabetes is difficult to control.
Fact: Diabetes is not a curable disease, but it can be controlled when patients properly manage their meals, exercise and the right medications. With the proper guidance and education, patients can prevent and/or minimise many of the more serious complications.
Myth: Kids can outgrow diabetes.
Fact: Kids do not outgrow diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the cells of the pancreas that produce insulin are destroyed. Once they are destroyed, they will never make insulin again. Kids with type 1 diabetes will always need to take insulin (until a cure is found). Although kids with type 2 diabetes may see an improvement in their blood sugar levels after puberty or with lifestyle adjustments, they will probably always have a tendency toward having high blood sugar levels, especially if they are physically inactive or gain too much weight.
Myth: Diabetes is contagious.
Fact: Diabetes is not contagious. You cannot catch it from another person. Although researchers think that getting type 1 diabetes may be triggered by something in the environment, like a virus, most people who get type 1 diabetes have inherited genes that make them more susceptible to the disease.
Myth: High blood sugar levels are normal for some people and are not really a sign of diabetes.
Fact: Certain conditions (like illness or stress) and certain medications (like steroids) temporarily can cause high blood sugar levels in people without diabetes. But high blood sugar levels are never normal. People who have higher than normal blood sugar levels or sugar in their urine should be checked for diabetes by a doctor.
Myth: People with diabetes can feel whether their blood sugar levels are high or low.
Fact: Although someone with diabetes may feel physical symptoms (such as extreme thirst, weakness, or fatigue) if blood sugar levels are high or low, the only way to know for sure what the levels are is to test them. For example, because blood sugar levels have to be very high to cause symptoms, a person who isn’t testing regularly may be having blood sugar levels high enough to damage the body without even realising it.
Myth: Insulin cures diabetes.
Fact: Taking insulin helps manage diabetes, but does not cure it. Insulin helps get glucose out of the bloodstream and into the cells, where it can be used for energy. This helps keep blood sugar levels under control, but taking insulin does not correct the underlying cause.
Myth: Tablets or pills for diabetes are a form of insulin.
Fact: Diabetes medicines taken by mouth are not a form of insulin. Insulin is a protein that would be broken down or destroyed by the acids and digestive enzymes in the stomach and intestines if swallowed. Currently there is no other practical way to deliver insulin except via injections.
Myth: Having to take more insulin means diabetes is getting worse.
Fact: Insulin doses need to be continuously adjusted to help keep blood sugar levels in a healthy range. Many factors affect blood sugar levels, including diet, exercise, and time of day. In addition, insulin doses may need to be changed over time. At the time of diagnosis, the pancreas may still be able to make some insulin, so less injected insulin may be needed. However, as the pancreas makes less and less insulin, more insulin needs to be given by injection to keep blood sugar levels in a healthy range. How fast kids are growing, whether they are undergoing puberty, how much they eat, and how active they are affect the amount of insulin needed each day.
Myth: Kids with diabetes cannot exercise.
Fact: Exercise is important for all kids — with or without diabetes! Exercise offers many benefits to kids with diabetes. It helps them manage their weight and prevents them from gaining excess body fat. It also improves cardiovascular health, boosts mood, relieves stress, and helps blood sugar control.
Myth: Low-carbohydrate diets are good for kids with diabetes because they should avoid carbohydrates.
Fact: Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred source of energy, and carbohydrate-containing foods should provide about 50% to 60% of a person’s calories each day. Low-carbohydrates diets tend to be overloaded with protein and fat. Following a high-fat, high-protein diet over the long term may increase the risks of heart and kidney disease in adulthood (which people with diabetes are already at increased risk for). People with diabetes should follow a healthy, balanced diet. Usually this means adopting a meal plan that helps them balance carbohydrate intake with medication and exercise to achieve good diabetes control.
Source: The Daily Star, November 15, 2008