Unleash the Facts And Myths About Diabetes
Living with diabetes is tricky – there are too many myths around it which make it hard to make the right choices regarding lifestyle and treatment. Well, here’s a hard fact: more people die in a year from diabetes than from AIDS and breast cancer combined.
Got your attention? Now for the good news: all forms of diabetes are treatable, if not curable. Diabetes is a metabolic disorder. It is caused by the body’s inability to handle glucose because:
- The pancreas is not producing any insulin,
- The pancreas is not producing enough insulin,
- The body’s cells can’t handle glucose even with insulin.
The key to understanding diabetes and living a normal, healthy life is C.O.M.P.R.O.M.I.S.E.
The body needs glucose for energy and muscle growth – the lack of adequate glucose supply to the cells can cause complications which include skin problems, heart disease, immunity issues and hypertension. Most of these complications can be overcome and controlled at home. Get your eyes examined regularly, take special care of personal hygiene especially with your feet, and do not hesitate to run to your doctor if you are feeling overwhelmed and anxious – it could be a sign of something bigger. Better safe than sorry!
Yes, being overweight means higher risk of getting diabetes. But, genetics and other lifestyle choices also play a role. Skinny people are also at risk. Nevertheless, controlling obesity can play a big role in controlling diabetes because you will inevitably have to make healthier nutrition choices in order to lose weight.
Regular checkups are vital – blood sugar needs to be monitored and your physician can also watch out for telltale signs of other complications and take preventive measures. Also, some types of diabetes are not permanent. How will you know you can enjoy a doughnut once in a while if you never get yourself tested?
Plan ahead to avoid situations where your food intake is irregular. Hypoglycemia can happen even if you are very careful with your medication. Keep a couple of snack bars in your car or office drawer. Have a snack before you go out to dinner, just in case of unavoidable delays.
Some people think they should restrict physical activity if they have diabetes. This is not true. Exercise is good – it burns sugar, regulates blood pressure and keeps weight in control. That said, too much exercise can cause hypoglycemia. Exercise regularly, but don’t overdo. Walking 30-45 minutes a day will keep you fit and at the same time will not be strenuous enough to cause complications.
Physical activity won’t keep you fit unless you give your body the right amount of rest, you need to make sure that you sleep enough! One other aspect which needs to be taken into consideration is the manner in which you sleep, if you sleep in a cramped up bed with a dead mattress you won’t be doing yourself any good.
This is one of the extreme complications of having too much glucose in the bloodstream. Smaller blood vessels can’t handle the excess glucose and this causes them to weaken and rupture, which then leads to overall organ failure. The trick is to lead a healthy lifestyle and keep your blood sugar within your target zone.
All forms of diabetes are treatable. Find out which medication is best for you by talking to doctors and support group members.
Believe it or not, a diabetic food plan looks exactly the same as a regular healthy food plan! So be inventive in the kitchen, but don’t feel you’re feeding yourself hospital food. A variety in your meals will generally keep you perked up, aside from the health benefits of getting more nutrients from different food types.
Sugar is bad
Well, yes, but not it the way most people think. This is the biggest myth of all! Overdosing on sugar does not cause diabetes, although it can be a contributing factor. But then, excess of anything is bad, right? Too much sugar can trigger diabetes in people who are predisposed to it for other reasons and of course it causes weight gain, which is problematic from a superficial and health point of view.
You’re not alone, but at the same time, only you know how you feel and how diabetes is affecting your life. Don’t be afraid of sharing your experience – online forums and chat rooms can be a great place to offload with anonymity and without judgment.
Well to add cherry on top, here is a final tidbit to cheer you up. Here are some very famous people who led, or are still leading very successful lives with diabetes:
- Halle Berry (actress)
- Anne Rice (writer)
- Sharon Stone (actress)
- H.G. Wells (writer)
- Elvis Presley (do I really need to??)
- Piers Anthony (writer)
- Sir Steven Redgrave (athlete)
- Wasim Akram (athlete)