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Diabetes: Facts versus Fiction

Google has made everyone much smarter today versus a decade ago. With so much information available with one swipe of the phone, we can all instantly become lawyers, doctors, politicians, and even world-renowned scientists. Of course, when we accidentally swipe on the wrong site; we might not be as smart as we say we are. There are many myths and facts surrounding type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and it is important to consult your “real doctor” to provide you with the truths about managing this condition. The following information sheds light on the facts and fiction of diabetes.

Diabetes is not necessarily caused by eating too much sweet food. Diabetes is a chronic disease that is marked by high blood glucose levels, which result from the body’s inability to produce insulin or respond to it efficiently. Insulin is responsible for reducing blood glucose levels in the body when it is too high. Although eating sweet food may not cause diabetes, a diet high in sugar and fat can lead to obesity, increasing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes does not have a cure. However, the condition can be managed to prevent complications from arising. Some believe Type 1 Diabetes is more serious than Type 2 Diabetes. However, they are both equally serious and must be managed to avoid long-term complications.

Amputation is not inevitable for diabetics. When poorly controlled, diabetes can lead to blood vessel damage in the long run, which in turn leads to complications like foot ulcers and amputation, nerve damage, blindness, kidney failure, heart disease, and even stroke. That is why it is important to properly manage diabetes to avoid these complications.

Carbohydrates may raise blood glucose levels as they are broken down into glucose to provide energy for the body. However, carbohydrates are present in a variety of food (including fruit and vegetables), which may also be important sources of other nutrients. Hence, it may not be practical to totally avoid carbohydrates. Consult a dietician, who can offer advice on a suitable diet for diabetic patients.

Snacks or candies that have no added sugar or that are made for diabetics are preferred alternatives to regular snacks since they may contain less sugar; the sugar in these products may have been replaced by artificial sweeteners. Unfortunately, snacks or candies tend to be of low nutritional value and can be high in fat. Hence, it would be a good practice to take a look at the content of the products before consumption and to take them in moderation.

As always, it is important to have a team of experts. You do not have to battle this disease alone. Along with your doctor, there are many support groups you can join in person or online. Arm yourself with as much information, and you too can live a long healthy productive life; even with diabetes.

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