Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Diabetes Debunked

Recently, I received an email entitled “Common Diabetes Myths Debunked”. Naturally, I was intrigued not by the debunking-of-diabetes-myths, but how they explained the realities of Diabetes. You see, I have met a great-many-people that have a great-many-brain cells, but they just can’t get past some of the “myths” or misconceptions of Diabetes even after I lay it out step by step. So, even if you think you know eevvverrrything about Diabetes, I encourage you to continue reading this post…you just might learn something :-) [Note, some of these are taken from said email, others are my own additions!]

Diabetes Myth #1: Diabetics can’t eat sugar.

Ok people, wake up and get to know your nutrition facts labels!!! Here is the kicker: carbohydrates ARE sugar! I think it’s so funny when people say, “I’m totally cutting sugar out of my diet!” And then they proceed to skip the cake, but pile the plate with pasta. Ironically, that bowl or pasta probably has more sugar than the cake!! So, the bottom line is yes, Diabetics CAN have sugar, we just have to be able to count the number of carbohydrates as we are eating them!

Diabetes Myth #2: Eating too much sugar causes Diabetes.

I liked the email’s answer so much, that I am quoting it for this one!

“There is no connection between sugar consumption and diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes is caused by a combination of genetic and lifestyle factors. If you have the right genes, getting older or bigger increases your chance of developing diabetes. But you only have so much control. Many people are young, fit and healthy when they get diagnosed. If you don't have those genes, you are unlikely to develop diabetes even if you are older and overweight.

Type 1 diabetes has a strong genetic component although no one knows exactly what triggers it. Sugar is not one of the suspects.

Bottom line: eating endless sweets will not cause diabetes. It may increase your dental bill, however.”

Diabetes Myth #3: If you are on insulin, your diabetes is “real bad.”

This sounds ridiculous, but I see pros and cons for both types of Diabetes. And this comparison should illustrate that neither type is “real bad” …it all depends on how well the individual person controls it.

Type 1 Diabetes Cons: Pancreas is completely, totally dead…like D-E-A-D…dead. No insulin can be produced. Injections either via syringe or insulin pump are required. Must test blood sugar ~5 times daily. Must count ingested carbohydrates. Must listen to your boyfriend ask you if your blood sugar is ok when you get cranky….ok, maybe that’s just me.

Type 1 Diabetes Pros: Technically I can eat anything as long as I have enough insulin to cover it. Don’t have to take pills!! (I hate pills) Don’t have to be labeled as “doing it to yourself” or “you got this because you are fat”…also, don’t have to be old enough to order supplies from the “Diabeetus” guy on TV!

Type 2 Diabetes Cons: Well, it’s still diabetes. You must test blood sugar (although it seems less often in most cases). Sometimes you have to take pills. You must watch your diet and exercise. Oh ya, and you fall into the Diabetes stereotypes.

Type 2 Diabetes Pros: No shots (usually)! You can be the next “Diabeetus” guy!

Moving on….

Diabetes Myth #4: You are a Diabetic, so you must loooooove shots!

Here is the short answer: no way Jose. Been diabetic for 11 years….hated shots for 23 years, and still counting.

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Do any of you out there have a question about diabetes that you might be embarrassed to ask me in person? Or anything you are not sure of about Diabetes? Please leave a comment or email me NerdyApril@gmail.com