The diagnosis of “diabetes mellitus” can greatly change a person’s life and confuse him, because today there are a lot of myths around this disease. In our material we debunk the most popular of them.
Diabetes mellitus is a violation of carbohydrate metabolism, accompanied by an increase in blood glucose (sugar) due to a decrease in tissue sensitivity to insulin or insufficient insulin secretion by the pancreas.
Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas in response to the intake of carbohydrates from food. It is necessary for glucose from the blood to enter the cell and then be used by the body. Glucose is the most important source of energy. Insulin, like the key to the lock, opens the cell and lets glucose in there. When there is not enough insulin or the sensitivity of tissues to insulin decreases, glucose accumulates in the blood and leads to a number of complications.
To date, there have been a large number of false statements about this disease, which can lead to a distorted understanding of its features, including ways to prevent and combat it. Together with the endocrinologist of SM-Clinic, Khava Ababukarovna Tsechoeva, we dispel the most common myths about diabetes, in which it’s time to stop believing.
Myth # 1: Diabetes mellitus develops due to the consumption of large amounts of sugar
There are two types of diabetes. Type I diabetes mellitus develops due to the destruction of pancreatic cells by its own immune system and the associated insulin deficiency.
It is also incorrect to say that type 2 diabetes mellitus develops due to excessive consumption of sweet foods. But the chances of developing this type of diabetes are higher if you are overweight or obese, which can lead to a defect in the action of insulin.
Myth #2: Diabetes is not a serious disease
Both types of diabetes require monitoring and compliance with certain rules. If diabetes mellitus is not controlled, it can lead to serious (even life-threatening) complications, such as kidney pathology (up to terminal renal failure), cardiovascular complications, the development of diabetic foot syndrome, pathology of the visual organs. Good diabetes control can significantly reduce the risk of complications, but this does not mean that the disease itself is not serious.
Myth #3: “mild” diabetes is possible
There is no such thing as “mild” diabetes. However, you may be diagnosed with prediabetes, which means that your glucose level is higher than normal, but not yet high enough to diagnose type 2 diabetes. If you are diagnosed with prediabetes, lifestyle changes, such as improved nutrition (limiting easily digestible carbohydrates), increased activity, weight loss in the presence of excess and quitting smoking, can help slow the development of type 2 diabetes.
Myth #4: If diabetes mellitus is diagnosed, it is necessary to give up sugar consumption
Carbohydrates are important sources of energy in the body. They are divided into two main types — simple and complex. Simple, or “fast” carbohydrates should be significantly reduced, since when they are consumed, glucose in the blood rises rapidly, which leads to significant fluctuations in its level and has a bad effect on the state of the body.
Complex, or “slow”, carbohydrates are preferred. The complete exclusion of products containing “sugar” leads to the fact that the body has to extract energy from alternative sources, and thus toxic substances accumulate in the body.
Myth #5: Diabetes is inherited
Diabetes mellitus is a disease with a hereditary predisposition. But it is important to note that it is the predisposition to the type of diabetes that a blood relative has that is inherited, and not the disease itself.
Awareness of the disease, adequate self-control and dynamic examination for complications of diabetes mellitus will help improve the quality of life. Do not forget to undergo a regular medical examination and be healthy!