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5 common myths about diabetes debunked

Discover the real facts behind this chronic disease and how it can affect your body and life. By Satyaki Sarkar

Statistics show that diabetes is now one of the most common and destructive diseases in the world. In fact, India ranks among the top three countries in the world with the highest diabetic population. Diabetes among men has doubled in the last two years. This is despite the advancements in diagnosis, medication and treatment, and often because of lack of awareness and ambiguity about the disease. To help you out we’ve listed down the most common myths to help you navigate your way around this potentially deadly disease.

1. Excess sugar intake causes diabetes
While most people believe this to be true, the reality is not that simple, there are a lot more factors at play. Research states that environmental and genetic factors are the primary factors behind Type 1 diabetes, while obesity, age, and a family history of diabetes are some of the factors behind Type 2 diabetes.

2. You can catch diabetes from someone else
A large part of the world population remains oblivious to the fact that diabetes is definitely not a contagious disease. Unlike the common cold or flu, you cannot contract diabetes by coming into contact with a person suffering from it. The only way another individual might be susceptible to the disease would be if there was a genetic link between you two.

3. Diabetic patients cannot eat sweets
The most common belief is that a person suffering from diabetes must abstain from any and all kinds of sugar intake completely. However, that is, in fact, wrong. Diabetics do need to monitor their diet as their body has difficulty in absorbing glucose, so they have to take care. However, small amounts of sweets in balanced proportions, along with a healthy diet and regular exercise is completely okay, and works better for overall health.

4. It is possible to tell when your blood sugar levels escalate
When there is a huge increase in the blood sugar level, it is common to experience a number of symptoms like intense thirst or hunger, weight loss, fatigue, and so on. However, if there is only a slight increase in blood sugar levels, it is extremely difficult to detect, as there are often no visible symptoms. This is why, instead of trying to leave it to yourself, it is always important for you to get regular blood sugar level checks done by a doctor.

5. Diabetics should avoid exercising
Contrary to this very misguided belief, physical exercise is in fact extremely beneficial for diabetics. Exercise helps burn extra body fat, lower stress levels, and regulate the body’s cholesterol and blood sugar levels. A regular fitness regimen helps a person maintain a healthy body, mind, and heart, while strengthening the nervous and immune system, making it easier for the body to fight against diseases.

Photograph: Nick Youngson/Creative Commons 

Categories:   Lifestyle, Health & Fitness

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