High blood sugar or diabetes is a serious health ailment and there are lot of complications that are caused by it. According to World Health Organization, about 422 million people worldwide have diabetes, the majority living in low-and middle-income countries, and 1.5 million deaths are directly attributed to diabetes each year. While in itself a big health hazard, high blood sugar also complicates other existing problems, and affects organs like eyes and kidneys. While lifestyle modifications lead to diabetes control, there are lots of myths associated with diabetes. Dr Aniket Mule, consultant internal medicine, Wockhardt Hospitals, Mira Road says, “There are a lot of myths associated with diabetes that are all too commonly considered facts. Lack of proper knowledge can lead to the stigma around diabetes. It is essential to get all your doubts cleared by an expert to manage diabetes with ease and lead a healthy life.”
Myths and facts about high blood sugar
Dr Aniket Mule shares, “Diabetes is a chronic disease wherein the body is unable to glucose (sugar) in the blood. People diagnosed with diabetes are often confused regarding what to do and avoid. They think that diabetes is caused due to eating too much sugar and they should completely avoid sugar once they get diabetes.” These are some of the popular myths linked to diabetes, as mentioned by Dr Mule:
Myth: Diabetes is not at all serious and it is OKAY to neglect it
Fact: If you have diabetes, it is imperative for you to take utmost care of yourself. Diabetes is a lifestyle disease and needs prompt management. Unmanaged diabetes can lead to a stroke, cardiovascular diseases, kidney and liver problems, and even nerve damage. It can also lead to gangrene and leg amputation. It will impact one’s quality of life. So, be careful if you have diabetes.
Myth: One gets diabetes as they eat a lot of sugar
Fact: Genetics, poor eating habits, lack of physical activity, stress, and obesity are some of the risk factors for diabetes. Eating sugar will not cause diabetes. But you should avoid sweets and sugary beverages.
Myth: If one is on insulin then it means one should not make any lifestyle changes
Fact: When one gets diagnosed with diabetes then the blood sugar may be managed via diet, exercise, and medications. However, the medications may not be effective in the case of some people and they may need insulin injections to help control their blood sugar levels. But, when one is on insulin, he/she will still need to adhere to a proper diet and exercise routine.
Myth: Women with diabetes are unable to conceive
Fact: Women who manage their diabetes can have a normal pregnancy and give birth to a healthy baby.
Myth: Those with diabetes should avoid exercising as it is not safe
Fact: This statement is completely false. In fact, one should exercise daily to control blood sugar levels. Exercise helps boost the body’s sensitivity to insulin. It is better to exercise for 5 days a week for at least an hour. You can take the help of an expert regarding which exercise is suitable for you. Moreover, you can at least start by walking.