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Facts & Myths of Diabetes

  1. Diabetes is caused by eating too much sweet food. 
  2. Diabetes can be cured. 
  3. Patients on insulin have more serious diabetes then those who require only oral medications. 
  4. People with diabetes will eventually need to amputate their feet. 
  5. People with diabetes should avoid carbohydrates since these can raise the blood glucose level. 
  6. People with diabetes can safely eat snacks/candies which have “no added sugar” or are “for diabetics”. 

  1. Diabetes is caused by eating too much sweet food.
    Not necessarily. Diabetes is a chronic disease condition, where high blood glucose levels are due to the body’s inability to produce insulin or respond to it efficiently. Insulin is responsible for reducing the blood glucose levels in the body, when it is too high. Although eating sweet food does not cause diabetes, a diet high in sugar and fat can lead to obesity, increasing the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. 
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  3. Diabetes can be cured.
    Diabetes is a chronic disease condition that has no cure. However, the condition can be well-controlled with proper management, which also helps to prevent the development of complications resulting from high blood sugar.
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  5. Patients on insulin have more serious diabetes then those who require only oral medications.
    Syringe 
    Patients with type 1 diabetes are not able to produce insulin due to an immune disorder affecting the pancreas. As such, oral medications which stimulate the production of insulin by the pancreas are not suitable. Such patients require insulin injection to control their blood glucose level.

    For patients with type 2 diabetes, initial treatment may involve only oral medications or only insulin injections. Some patients may require a combination of oral medications and insulin injections to achieve optimal control of their blood glucose levels.
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  7. People with diabetes will eventually need to amputate their feet
    Poorly controlled diabetes in the long term causes damage to the blood vessels, which in turn leads to complications such as foot uclers and amputation, nerve damage, blindness, kidney failure, heart diseases, and even stroke. However, such complications are avoidable if the diabetes is properly managed. For this reason, it is important for diabetic patients to visit their healthcare providers for regular screening of their foot, eyes and kidney to monitor for the above mentioned complications.
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  9. People with diabetes should avoid carbohydrates since these can raise the blood glucose level.

    Fruits 

    Carbohydrates can indeed raise blood glucose level, because they are broken down to glucose to provide energy for the body. As carbohydrates are present in a variety of food (including fruits and vegetables), which may also be important sources of other nutrients, it is not practical to avoid carbohydrates totally. A dietician may be consulted to advice on preferable food choices for diabetic patients.
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  11. People with diabetes can safely eat snacks/candies which have “no added sugar” or are “for diabetics”.
    Snacks/ candies which have “no added sugar” or those “for diabetics” can be preferred alternatives to regular snacks since the former may have relatively lower sugar content. The sugar content in these products may be replaced by artificial sweeteners. However, snacks/candies tend to be of low nutritional value and can be high in fat. Hence it would be a good practice to take a look at the content of the products before consumption and to take them in moderation.

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