If you or a loved one suffer from diabetes, you know the sideway glances and odd looks people give when you admit to having the disease. The stigma surrounding this condition often makes its victims feel like the health issue came as a result of their own actions. Dealing with the stress of a chronic condition, from dealing with symptoms to frequent doctor appointments to a myriad of medications to try, the added weight of judgment from others can further deteriorate your condition.
It’s high time we put a stop to the misconceptions that stigmatize a condition as serious as diabetes. Here’s what experts know to be the most common myths and misconceptions about diabetes:
1. Myth: Only Overweight People Develop Diabetes
Obesity is one of the primary factors that accompany diabetes, which leads to the myth that only overweight people develop the diseases. But, if you’ve noticed, plenty of bigger bodied people don’t have diabetes, while on the other hand, people on the lower end of the scale develop the disease. If your body sugar is consistently high, the resulting insulin resistance causes excessive weight gain.
2. Myth: Carbs and Sugar Are No-No
How often do you notice the stink eye or nod of disapprovement when a diabetic person orders dessert? Mayo Clinic endocrinologist Dr. Bithika M. Thompson states that cutting everything out is not the solution – the key lies in the balance you maintain. To keep your condition in check, you need to ensure that you blood sugar level remains within the target range prescribed by your doctor. You don’t need to make any extreme changes – maybe a few small ones in terms of diet. For instance, your dietitian or doctor might suggest switching from white bread to whole bread, or to complex carbs rather than refined carbs.
3. Myth: Diabetes Is Curable
Whenever you see product advertisements claiming that diabetes is curable, go running in the other direction. The fact is that diabetes is a chronic disease, which means that there is no known cure for it yet. However, you can achieve remission if you manage your condition properly, with a suitable diet and treatment plan.
Wrapping It Up
Ideally, you need to have an honest and open conversation with a licensed professional about the best way to manage your condition. For some people a change in diet and increase in physical activity does the trick, while more serious cases require medication or insulin.