10 Most Common Myths About Diabetes

10 Most Common Myths About Diabetes

10 Most Common Myths About Diabetes

  • Myth 1: Sometimes, diabetes can be contagious. Or how do you explain that several members of the same family suffer from it?

Although the cause is not known, diabetes is not contagious, like a cold or flu. The fact that several members of a family suffer from diabetes is due to genetic (or hereditary) mechanisms, not to a mechanism of contagion.

  • Myth 2: Diabetics cannot consume sweets or chocolates.

If sweets and chocolates are consumed as an "extra" in the context of a healthy diet, balanced and accompanied by physical exercise, prohibited foods are not. The problem arises if they are used to replace a meal or a snack. This is something important to consider because it can lead to important limitations and alterations in the quality of life, especially in age groups in which sweets are part of their universe, as is the case of childhood.

  • Myth 3: Eating too much sugar or candy can trigger diabetes.

No, even people who do not consume sweets can develop diabetes, because it is a disease in which genetic factors and lifestyle factors are associated. Within the lifestyle, food is important, but not exclusively for the consumption or not of sugar. If there is excessive consumption of calories that lead to obesity, the risk of diabetes is higher; The same happens with the lack of physical exercise.

  • Myth 4: Diabetics should consume special foods

At present, there is no more talk about "diabetic foods". Indeed, it is currently considered that the diabetic diet should be balanced (low in fat, with a wide assortment of vegetables and fruits, with low-fat dairy products, and controlled in salt).
Resorting to foods that carry the label "for diabetics" leads to a higher expense and the false belief that as they are for diabetics can be consumed without limits, which is not true and may even be counterproductive.

  • Myth 5: Diabetics should avoid 3 P's: bread, pasta and potatoes.

Although these foods must be consumed in controlled quantities, that is, measured in the size and number of daily servings, they can be part of the daily diet. In this way, they can be included in both main meals and snacks.
Many popular beliefs lead to erroneous behaviours, which usually involve higher costs or delay in the achievement of glycemic balance.

  • Myth 6: Diabetics are more likely to suffer from colds and other infectious diseases.

No, the mere fact of being diabetic does not predispose you to any infectious disease. However, it is desirable to take the greatest precautions to prevent them because when they occur they bring about a glycemic imbalance, often important. That's why diabetics are in the group of people who are recommended to follow the flu vaccination schedules and the rest stipulated according to the patient's age.

  • Myth 7: Insulin can cause high blood pressure and atherosclerosis.

This myth arises from the fact that many type 2 diabetics, shortly after starting with the use of insulin therapy, may experience conditions or manifestations of cardiovascular diseases. In fact, these are patients with long-standing diabetes in whom the pancreas has ceased to be efficient in the secretion of insulin. In these cases, cardiovascular diseases are an expression of a chronic complication of diabetes and not the effect of insulin use itself.

  • Myth 8: Fruits are healthy foods, therefore they can be eaten at will, except bananas, which are prohibited.

In this type of affirmation, 2 myths are actually contained: the possibility of the indiscriminate consumption of fruits and the impediment of consuming bananas. It is true that fruits are healthy foods for their content of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, but they also contain carbohydrates and are not free of calories. Therefore, they can be consumed in all their varieties, but always in controlled quantities, stipulated by their nutritionist. With regard to the banana, it should not be "demonized"; It can be consumed but with discretion.

  • Myth 9: Insulin cannot be used in people who have a tendency to gain weight because it causes an increase in body weight. 

Although the use of insulin can bring with it an eventual weight gain, the 2 most recent, wide and prestigious American and British studies agree in affirming that the benefits of the use of this hormone replacement surpass those of the risks of obesity.

  • Myth 10: Changes in the type of antidiabetic treatment have to be made only when the glycosylated haemoglobin levels exceed 8%.

No, the better the glycemic control the lower the risks of developing complications, both acute and chronic. In this way, values of 7% or even better, less than 7% have been established as an acceptable limit for haemoglobin. Remember that the normal maximum value is 6% and that the closer a diabetic approaches these values, the better their situation will be, both present and future. However, we must not lose sight of the possibility of developing eventual hypoglycaemia, especially in the case of type 1 diabetics.

As can be seen, wrong versions circulate that can lead to the delay in consultation or the adoption of wrong resources to level the disease. Do not stop discussing with your doctor everything you have read, or heard, in order to establish the veracity of these statements and the possibility of adapting them to your particular case.

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