World Diabetes Day – 5 Myths & Facts of Diabetes
What exactly is Diabetes?
In a nutshell, diabetes occurs when the patient’s body is unable to produce insulin or the insulin is not able to work effectively. This leads to high glucose level in the blood. The common forms of diabetes are Type 2 Diabetes, Type 1 Diabetes, Gestational Diabetes and Monogenic Diabetes. In Singapore, roughly 1 in 10 people suffer from diabetes.
However, is diabetes really caused by consuming too much sugar? Read on to learn more about the common myths and facts of diabetes.
1. Eating too much sweet food causes Diabetes
Myth. This is a very common one however, there is no proven association between eating sweet food and the increased risk of diabetes.
2. Being obese causes Diabetes
Being Obese is one of the risk factors for developing Diabetes and your risk is more than doubled of developing diabetes. Other important risk factors are Family History, Sedentary lifestyle, History of Polycystic ovarian syndrome and history of Pre-Diabetes.
3. You can only get Type 1 Diabetes when you’re young
Myth. Type 1 Diabetes can happen at any age, and it is usually caused by immune mediated destruction of insulin producing cells so age is definitely not a factor of Diabetes.
4. You can only get Type 2 Diabetes when you’re old
Myth. In the past 20 years, we have been seeing children as young as 12 years getting diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.
5. Cutting out high-carbohydrate foods will manage Diabetes
If you have Type 2 Diabetes, reducing simple carbohydrates in your diet will help you improve your glucose levels. Carbohydrates are the main source of glucose in blood but it’s important to remember that it’s not the only source.
6. If my parent developed Diabetes at the age of 60, I cannot have Diabetes till I am 60 years old
Myth, Family history is an important, non-modifiable, risk factor for developing Diabetes and if you have a family history you may develop diabetes at any age.
Dr Nitish Mishra is an experienced Endocrinologist, Diabetologist and specialist in Internal Medicine. His clinical interests are in the management of diabetes, parathyroid, thyroid, pituitary, adrenal and gonadal disorders including Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, hypercalcaemia, male and female hypogonadism and thyroid cancer.
Dr Mishra expertise also includes the management of patients with obesity, hypertension, hyperlipidaemia, electrolyte disturbances, osteoporosis, type 1 and 2 diabetes, hypoglycaemia, gender dysphoria and more.