The Center for Disease Control and Prevention tells us that 1 in 10 adults have diabetes and more and more people are being diagnosed daily. If the current trend continues in just a few short decades the number will soar to 1 in 3 adults.
Yes, 33 percent of adults would have this debilitating – and sometimes deadly – disease.
These are truly alarming statistics especially when you look at the facts:
- Diabetes is a major contributor to cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, blindness, amputations, and various neuropathies.
- More than 220,000 Americans die from diabetes complications each year.
- Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the U.S.
With this kind of harsh reality, the myths shrouding diabetes – and there are many – only add to the alarm and confusion surrounding what is already a pressing concern for a number of individuals. The following will shed some light on 5 of the most common myths about diabetes.Myth #1: Only older people have to worry about type-2 diabetes.
Not at all. As a matter of fact, the recent sharp rise in reported cases among children has prompted many experts to brand the phenomena as an epidemic. Not long ago type-1 diabetes was considered the only type to be concerned about. But now upwards of 45% of new diabetes cases in children are type-2. This diagnosis seems to go hand in hand with the rising obesity problem among our nation’s youth.Myth #2: Diabetes is always and only controlled with insulin.
While it’s true that type-1 diabetes requires insulin injections for proper management, smart food choices are also necessary to lessen the chances of runaway blood sugar levels. Type-2 diabetes can be controlled largely with a healthy diet and exercise, and insulin injections may not be necessary at all.Myth #3: Carefully following a diabetes management plan ensures your blood glucose is always under control.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Type-2 diabetes is fickle. Aging, stress, infections, other illnesses all can throw a monkey wrench into management plans. But with diligence there will be far more consistent “good” readings and fewer occasional “bad” ones. Myth #4: Diabetes requires a rigid, bland diet.
While the diabetes diet does impose restrictions, that doesn’t mean people with diabetes are doomed to eat cardboard the rest of their lives. It’s mostly a matter of controlling the amount of fat and calories consumed so that glucose levels don’t spike. The focus should be on healthy carbohydrates and fats, fiber-rich foods, and lean proteins. Something we should all direct our focus on anyway.Myth #5: Being overweight leads to diabetes.
Not always. There are plenty of overweight individuals who don’t have it. Obesity, on the other hand, is one of the major risk factors. A body mass index of 30 or higher is considered obese.
Right now there is no cure for type-1 diabetes but there are certainly steps anyone can take to drastically lower their chances of developing type-2. The two biggest steps include lifestyle changes with regards to diet and exercise.
Once America, and indeed the world, tackles its obesity problem there will almost certainly be a drop in the alarming trends which are now underway. An equally important step involves education, separating fact from fiction, and being proactive when it comes to maintaining your health.