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Understanding Diabetes And Debunking The Myth

By Chinelo Eze
14 November 2022   |   2:17 pm
Diabetes is a condition when the pancreas can no longer generate insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it does produce, in such cases, diabetes develops. It is a condition that causes elevated blood sugar levels (high blood glucose). The pancreas produces the hormone insulin, which functions as a key to allow glucose…

Diabetes is a condition when the pancreas can no longer generate insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it does produce, in such cases, diabetes develops. It is a condition that causes elevated blood sugar levels (high blood glucose).

The pancreas produces the hormone insulin, which functions as a key to allow glucose from food to enter the body’s cells where it may be used to make energy. All foods containing carbohydrates are converted to glucose in the blood. Insulin facilitates the uptake of glucose by cells.

Blood glucose levels rise as a result of ineffective insulin production and utilisation known as hyperglycaemia. Long-term elevated glucose levels are linked to cellular deterioration and organ and tissue failure. In celebration of the yearly world diabetes day commemorated every 14th November, here are a few things to know about diabetes.

There are various types of diabetes: type 1, type 2, prediabetes and gestational diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes: Although type 1 diabetes can manifest at any age, children and adolescents are the most commonly affected. This long-term condition is when the pancreas does not or barely produces any insulin. In order to keep blood glucose levels under control when you have type 1 diabetes, you need daily insulin injections since your body either generates very little or no insulin.
Increased thirst, frequent urination, hunger, exhaustion, and blurred eyesight are among the symptoms. The goal of treatment is to keep blood sugar levels within normal range with ongoing monitoring, insulin medication, diet, and exercise.

Type 2 Diabetes: Adults are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, which makes up around 90% of all instances of the disease. The insulin that your body generates is not properly utilised when you have type 2 diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, the body either produces insufficient insulin or rejects it.
Increased thirst, frequent urination, hunger, exhaustion, and blurred eyesight are among the symptoms. There might not always be any symptoms.

The cornerstone of type 2 diabetes treatment is leading a healthy lifestyle, which includes more exercise and a balanced diet. But over time, the majority of patients with type 2 diabetes will need oral medications and/or insulin to maintain stable blood sugar levels.

Gestational Diabetes: High blood glucose levels occur during pregnancy and are a symptom of gestational diabetes (GDM), a kind of diabetes that can cause problems for both the mother and the unborn child. GDM often goes away after pregnancy, but both the affected mothers and their offspring are more likely to acquire type 2 diabetes in the future.

Prediabetes: Blood sugar levels that are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes are considered to have prediabetes, a significant health condition. More than one in three American adults, or 96 million people, have prediabetes. More than 80% of people with prediabetes are unaware of their condition.

There is a general misconception that sugar is the main cause of diabetes, here are myth busters about diabetes.

Consuming sugar leads to diabetes
The fact is that diets heavy in calories, whether from sugar or another source, will cause you to gain weight. A weight gain also raises your risk of type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes only affects overweight people
Being overweight increases your risk of getting diabetes. However, there are other risk factors, including family history, ethnicity, age, and amount of physical activity, that affect the likelihood of having it. Numerous individuals with type 2 diabetes are either of normal weight or slightly overweight.

Candy and chocolate are off-limits to diabetics
Truth is, people with diabetes can eat anything. The secret is to consume them sparingly and reserve them for exceptional occasions. This will allow you to continue eating well.

Those who have diabetes don’t make enough insulin
Upon the detection of type 2 diabetes, most people have enough insulin in their bodies. However, the insulin isn’t functioning properly. Cells are unable to absorb glucose from food with the aid of insulin. Eventually, their pancreas might cease producing enough insulin. They will then require injections.

Diabetics are prone to getting cold
The likelihood that you may catch a cold, the flu, or another sickness is the same as everyone else’s. However, illnesses can make it more difficult to control diabetes.

You’ll need to inject yourself
Shots are necessary for injectable drugs. Other therapies might not call for injections. In lieu of injections, you can use insulin pens, oral medicines, or blood sugar monitors.

If you have diabetes, you cannot lead an active lifestyle
Being engaged in physical activity is essential for managing diabetes. It can facilitate glucose uptake by your muscles without the need for insulin. It also improves how well your cells use insulin. You can create an exercise regimen that is appropriate for you with the aid of a healthcare provider.

You must lose a limb or grow blind with diabetes
Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to catastrophic complications such as blindness, renal failure, amputation of limbs, heart disease, and stroke. Controlling blood sugar can lessen that risk. The risk of problems can also be reduced by early identification, urine testing, eye checks, and foot examinations.