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Myths and truths about diabetes

Compared to the past, living standards have improved and food is plentiful, leading to an increase in life expectancy and a marked improvement in quality of life. But in the world, there is always light and dark. An affluent life brought another challenge: a geriatric disease. Diabetes, which we are going to talk about today, is a typical example. Now, no one can rest assured that they do not have diabetes. Today we are going to look at some myths about diabetes, but before that, let’s briefly review what diabetes is.

Diabetes, why is it a problem?

Just like a car needs fuel to run, our bodies use glucose as an energy source for activity. The reason we eat bread is to obtain glucose from which carbohydrates, the main ingredient, are decomposed. Glucose that enters the body stays in the blood and is then absorbed by cells that need energy by a hormone called insulin. Diabetes is a disease in which glucose cannot be absorbed by cells and remains in the blood because of a problem with the action of insulin.

In other words, the key to diabetes is glucose in the blood. The accumulated glucose in the blood damages small peripheral blood vessels and, on the other hand, increases blood lipids and narrows large blood vessels. The major symptoms known as complications of diabetes are ultimately the cause of impaired blood flow.

Blood flow disorders have no obvious symptoms in the early stages. Therefore, if not managed in advance, diabetes is often diagnosed only after it has progressed considerably. Common misconceptions about diabetes also play a role. Typical examples are the following:

Younger people don’t get diabetes?

Diabetes is divided into two main types according to its cause. Type 1 diabetes is when the pancreas does not secrete insulin itself, and type 2 diabetes is when the cells of the body cannot properly receive the insulin even though it is secreted. If insulin is a text message telling you to lower blood glucose, you can say that you have type 1 diabetes if the sender’s cell phone is off, and type 2 diabetes if the recipient’s cell phone is off.

Type 1 diabetes is relatively young, with an onset age of less than 20 years. Because insulin deficiency is the cause, insulin injections are the key to treatment. Although the proportion of type 1 diabetes in total diabetes is low, it is a very important problem for patients with the disease, so diabetes cannot be ruled out at a young age.

On the other hand, type 2 diabetes is a disease commonly known as an adult disease. It is easy to accompany overweight and obesity, and there is also a genetic influence. Type 2 diabetes was considered to occur mainly after the age of 40, but these days, as obesity among adolescents is increasing, it is possible at the age below that.

Eating sugary foods can make you diabetic?

In conclusion, since diabetes is caused by a problem in insulin metabolism, the sweet food itself is not the cause. If insulin does its job, even if your blood sugar level rises from eating sugary foods such as sugar, it will soon return to normal. However, it is better to be careful with sweet foods for the following two reasons.

First, if you eat sweet foods and do not consume the energy properly through exercise, etc., it will accumulate as fat in the body, which can lead to overweight and obesity. Being overweight and obese is an important cause of type 2 diabetes. Although sugary foods themselves do not cause diabetes, weight gain can lead to type 2 diabetes in the long run.

The next thing to consider is if you already have impaired insulin metabolism. If you have diabetes and consume sugar indiscriminately, your blood sugar will rise excessively. If high blood sugar is left untreated, it can lead to various complications, as discussed earlier.

Therefore, it is better to refrain from consuming excessively sweet foods with or without diabetes. But that’s not because sugary foods directly cause diabetes.

Alcohol has nothing to do with diabetes?

At first glance, it seems that alcohol has nothing to do with diabetes because it has no sugar. However, excessive drinking can adversely affect diabetes, in three main ways.

First, alcohol makes insulin secrete excessively, which puts a strain on the pancreas and increases insulin resistance, which can worsen diabetes itself.

Alcohol can also cause hypoglycemia. When the blood sugar level is low, the body breaks down other substances in the liver to replenish glucose, but alcohol inhibits the process. Therefore, drinking alcohol in diabetic patients who are taking hypoglycemic agents or insulin can cause rapid hypoglycemia.

Finally, alcohol provides a significant calorie of 7 kcal per liter. Therefore, excessive drinking can lead to the accumulation of fat, which can lead to type 2 diabetes.

For this reason, if you have diabetes, you should be especially careful about drinking alcohol. However, it is not as easy as you think to limit the alcohol you are already drinking. That’s why doctors advise people with diabetes to abstain from alcohol altogether.

Foam in your urine is a sign of diabetes?

If you suddenly notice bubbles in your urine, you need to be careful. This is because if your blood sugar is higher than 190mg/dl, sugar may be excreted in the urine and foam. However, bubbles in the urine are not necessarily evidence of diabetes. This is because sugar can be excreted in the urine even when there are other kidney diseases.

People are often tempted to identify a particular disease as a noticeable phenomenon. This is probably the reason why the myth that foamy urine is evidence of diabetes has spread. If you see unusual bubbles in your urine, it is necessary to check whether you have diabetes through an additional blood sugar test rather than guessing diabetes by itself.

For reference, there are three major symptoms of diabetes. These are ‘polydipsia’, ‘polyphagia’, and ‘polyuria’. ‘polydipsia’ means ‘drinking a lot’, ‘polyphagia’ means ‘eating a lot’, and ‘polyuria’ meaning ‘urinating a lot’. However, this is only an auxiliary matter. If you do not have diabetes yet, it is good to check your blood sugar level with regular health checkups. If you have already been diagnosed with diabetes, the importance will be even greater.

Diabetes medication must be taken for the rest of your life?

It depends on the type of diabetes. Unfortunately, patients with type 1 diabetes, who do not secrete insulin at all, have to take insulin injections for the rest of their lives. On the other hand, in the case of type 2 diabetes, as obesity, an important cause, improves, it can be improved together. Therefore, with regular exercise and diet control, you can reduce the drug as much as you want, and furthermore, you can stop taking the drug.

However, you should never arbitrarily stop taking the drug without consulting your doctor when your blood sugar is still not sufficiently controlled. Uncontrolled blood sugar levels can lead to serious diabetes complications. Improvement of the cause, then blood sugar control, and finally medication control. Be sure to remember this order.

Diabetes, you can beat it.

Today, we had time to review the popular myths regarding diabetes. Please refer to this article to relieve the vague worries caused by misinformation about diabetes.

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