World Diabetes Day 2020: 8 myths about diabetes debunked
First Published 14, Nov 2020, 12:02 PM
Diabetes is a condition characterized by a high sugar level in the blood. WHO estimates that 6% of the world's population has diabetes. The total number today is four times what it was in 1980. Dr Karthik Prabhakar, Head of Department and Consultant for diabetes and endocrinology at Manipal Hospital debunks certain myths about diabetes.
Myth 1: Diabetes can be cured
Diabetes is a chronic and progressive disease that has no cure. You can manage good diabetes with healthy lifestyle and medications.
Myth 2: Type 2 diabetes is less severe than type 1 diabetes
Neither type 1 nor type 2 diabetes is mild if not properly managed. Both have to be well managed to avoid short term and long term complications.
Myth 3: Patients with diabetes have to undergo amputation of limbs
Amputation is used as a last resort in managing foot complications associated with poorly controlled diabetes.
• Foot care advice is provided to reduce risk of complications to feet.
• We have various modalities to manage foot problems conservatively when dealt with in early stages.
Myth 4: People with diabetes need to limit their physical activities
It is not true that patients with diabetes cannot participate in physical activities or play sports as long as they take suitable precautions to ensure blood glucose levels are maintained during the activities.
Myth 5: Diabetes is contagious
Diabetes is not contagious as it is not an infection. It does not pass to other people through contact.
Myth 6: Patient with diabetes should completely avoid sweets
The patient with diabetes need not completely cut the sweets. They should take a well-balanced diet, which may contain small amount of sugar/sweets. Sweets containing sweetners can be used, but be cautious about fat content
Myth 7. Diabetes only occurs to fat people
Diabetes can develop in anyone. Fat or obese people are at increased risk of developing diabetes and in Indians, it can develop at lower body mass index levels.
Myth 8: Diabetes is caused by eating too much sugar
Sugar alone is not responsible for diabetes. Eating a high-calorie diet, including sugar, promotes weight gain, which increases the risk of diabetes, together with a sedentary lifestyle. Having a family history of diabetes can also increase risk of diabetes.
Doctor's Tip: Dr Karthik says: "Many patients approach us with a lot of misconceptions and myths about diabetes. We need to provide correct information about the disease. The patients need to stay away from myths and unverified information as it may be harmful to their health. The best way is to consult with your doctor"