Identifying the facts about diabetes is important when it comes to managing the condition. There is so much information available out there making it difficult to know what is right and what is not. This article aims to help dispel some of the most common myths about diabetes – let’s have a look at some of them.
Myth 1. Only fat/obese people get diabetes.
Fact 1. Even non-obese people with certain other risk factors can develop diabetes. Compared to obese people with diabetes, the insulin formed and released is lesser in non-obese.
Even if one has a normal body mass index or BMI, non-obese patients generally have a greater amount of fat mass in the body particularly around the abdomen (abdominal obesity).
The abdominal obesity is a condition in which harmful chemical substances are formed. These substances decrease the formation and release of insulin and also affect its functions negatively. It is also important to note that abdominal obesity is related to increased risk of diabetes and its complications regardless of overall obesity.
Myth 2. Type 2 Diabetes is only due to excess consumption of sugar containing foods.
Fact 2. No, though improper diet is a major risk factor, excess sugar consumption is not the only risk factor for diabetes.
Certain problems during growth of the foetus inside the womb known as intra-uterine effects can lead to low birth weight and subsequently increased abdominal fat mass in adulthood, regardless of current BMI.
Whereas this can be the basic cause along with family history of diabetes, there are other factors which precipitate the risk like obesity, less physical activity, increasing age, high blood cholesterol and high blood pressure.
Myth 3. Only excess sweet portions (chocolates, mithais, sugar, etc.) in one’s diet increase the risk of diabetes
Fact 3. No, it is not true that only sweet consumption is a risk factor for diabetes when considering dietary habits. In fact, excess carbohydrates in any form like Maida or refined flours (white bread), corn/cornflakes, rice without any fibre content are equal culprits. So even if you do not consume lots of sweets but habitually eat food with high carbohydrate content without enough fibre, these may increase the risk of diabetes.
Myth 4. If one is non-obese (or not fat) and has diabetes, exercise or walking or any physical activity will not help to control blood glucose better
Fact 4. No, any form of physical activity benefits a diabetes patient regardless of fat mass. Exercise or walking helps insulin to perform its activity in a more efficient manner. Hence any form of physical activity is an important method of improving blood glucose control.
Myth 5. One should periodically get tested for diabetes only if one is obese or fat
Fact 5. No, one should periodically get tested as per the physician’s advice, in following cases even if non-obese. If one has a family history of diabetes, age more than 45 years, diabetes during pregnancy, suffered from a hormonal disorder causing enlarged ovaries with cysts, negligible physical activity, high blood pressure or high blood cholesterol.
Disclaimer: The above information has been prepared by a qualified medical professional and may not represent the practices followed universally. However, the suggestions listed in this article constitute fairly common advice given to patients who need to lose weight. Since every patient is different, you are advised to consult your physician, if in doubt, before acting upon this information. Lupin Limited has only facilitated the distribution of this information to you in the interest of patient welfare.