3 Massive Myths about Type 2 DiabetesAdeshola Ezeokoli
Diabetes is a disease characterised by high blood sugar whose eventual endpoint, if left untreated, is a steady inflammation and destruction of small blood vessels and nerves. There are two broad categories usually called Type 1 and Type 2. This post is about type 2 diabetes. After being a practicing physician for over a decade there are some phrases, that I like to call myths, which I have heard time and again from diabetics and non-diabetics alike.
Here are the top three:
1.”It’s just a little sugar”: No. It is not “just a little sugar”. People usually say this to downplay what diabetes is. Diabetes is a widespread disease that can cause heart attacks, kidney failure, blindness and amputations, if the so called “little sugar” is not controlled. Take it seriously. Avoid refined sugars like the plague. I know a lot of diabetics who drink pepsi as though it is going out of fashion. Do not let cakes and chocolates be the boss of you. If you see your diabetic spouse, friend or relative buying cookies, share this write up with them or send them to my clinic and I will set them straight.
2.”It cannot be reversed”: With the right consistent diet and exercise diabetes can be reversed. It will take relentless willpower and laser focus, but it can be done. Eat right to avoid blood sugar spikes. Exercise daily to boost your body’s metabolism and help lose weight. Do all you can to lose 10-15% of your body weight and your requirements for medication can reduce. Reduction or weaning of medication should only be done under your doctor’s supervision. I have many patients who are on reduced medications and quite a few who are no longer on any. It can be done.
3. “I’m taking medicine, I can eat whatever I want”: First and foremost, no one should eat whatever they want (unless you want vegetables and wild caught tilapia all the the time). If you have type two diabetes, you cannot afford to eat refined sugars, or foods such as cakes, cookies and candy; which have a lot of sugar in them. Taking medication does not necessarily override the excessive sugar in a diet and “eating whatever you want” may increase your requirements for medicine. Unless you work on your diet however, your blood sugar levels will not improve, weight will increase and a vicious cycle will ensue.
Please feel free to share this short post with friends and family. What other myths about diabetes have you come across? I would love to hear from you. Please subscribe to this site for weekly updates to help you live a balanced life.