What you believe about diabetes is probably wrong. As more is discovered about this debilitating disease, you need to know the truth, especially if you or someone you know has diabetes. Here are 9 myths that have no basis in fact.
1.Diabetes is inherited. While heredity plays a part in getting diabetes, the major reasons for getting diabetes is primarily due to a poor lifestyle. Typical diets today consist of highly processed foods which are easy to digest but cause major rises in blood sugar. This taxes the pancreas into over-producing the insulin needed to get glucose into the cells where it can be used for energy. In a similar vein, you cannot get diabetes from someone who has it. It is not viral, like the flu.
2.Sugar causes diabetes. Sugar does raise glucose somewhat but it is the simple carbohydrates in food that is quickly converted into glucose that leads to high sugar spikes, obesity and ultimately diabetes. High fiber food consists of complex carbo9hydrates which take more time to be converted into glucose. This leads to a gradual increase in blood sugar which the pancreas can handle. Diabetics can eat sugar, but sugar alone does not cause diabetes.
3.Insulin helps control blood sugar and cures diabetes. Generally type 1 diabetics need to be on insulin as their pancreas do not produce enough insulin to move glucose out of the bloodstream. Many type 2 diabetics are insulin resistant which simply means that their pancreas are producing enough insulin but the glucose is simply not getting into the cells of the body. Insulin injections help but ultimately the resistant cells require more and more insulin for glucose to enter. Both insulin and glucose build up in the bloodstream and can be fatal. What needs to be addressed is what causes the cells to become resistant in the first place and a lot is due to lifestyle factors. Insulin does not cure diabetes.
4.You can tell you have diabetes when the symptoms start to show. This is true in some cases. But the symptoms do not always show up. The pancreas of type 2 diabetics produce insulin and this can lead to mild symptoms that are easy to overlook. Many people are diabetic but don’t know it until the symptoms become evident.
5.Drinking water helps to flush out excess blood sugar. While we should drink at least 8 glasses of water every day and it does help to flush out many toxins in the body, drinking water alone is not a substitute for the lifestyle change that is needed to help control diabetes. Physical activity, a proper diet, your ingrained habits of smoking and drinking and high stress levels play a more important role as to how your body controls your glucose levels.
6.Oral medications are all you need to control diabetes. They help, but they do not address the causes of the disease, which as already explained is due to an unhealthy lifestyle. Medications are a stop gap measure. They tend to help the diabetic gain weight rather than lose it.
7.Eating carbohydrates should be reduced in the diet. You cannot avoid eating carbohydrates. Carbs are a necessary part of life. It’s the type of food you eat on a regular basis that ultimately leads to diabetes. Consuming too much junk food instead of high fiber food is what leads to problems. Fast food seems like a good way to get quick energy in the fast paced lifestyle we live in today, but it leads to problems if it is done too often.
8.Diabetes cannot be controlled. While there is no cure for the disease, you can live a healthy life by controlling your diet, exercise regularly and cut out the bad habits that lead to the disease. Diabetes is controllable.
9. Diabetics eventually go blind and will lose their feet. If diabetes is not addressed, the complications of blindness, and nerve damage to the feet result leading to amputations. While diabetes is generally believed to lead to the complications of blindness and kidney failure, much of this is due to a lack of essential vitamins and minerals. Diabetics are especially vulnerable to complications since their kidneys flush out essential nutrients as they try to rid the body of excess glucose. Replacing these vitamins and minerals are essential to keeping nerves healthy and functioning. You don’t have to be diabetic to experience the complications. Many people do not get enough essential nutrients from their diets. It’s the reason why disease is so rampant. The body simply has little defense against the pathogens, viruses and diseases that regularly invade the body. 10.There are no natural remedies for diabetes. While there is no cure, there are vitamins, minerals and herbs you can take that can help you control blood sugar. Diabetics should supplement with gymnema sylvestre, bitter melon, fenugreek, gingko biloba and alpha lipoic acid. Helpful minerals are: chromium, vanadium, zinc, magnesium and potassium. The diabetic should supplement with vitamins C and E and B vitamin complex. Besides taking supplements a healthy diet and exercise routine can go a long way to controlling blood sugar.
If you have diabetes or are at risk of getting it, the best thing you can do is make a complete change in your lifestyle and cut out the bad habits that you have formed that put you at risk of diabetes. Work with your doctor and dietitian to avoid the deterioration that narrows the quality of life and leads to early death. Whether you have the disease or not, chances are that any changes you make today will help avoid getting diabetes or control it better.