New Delhi : Does consuming too much sugar cause diabetes? Is diabetes a disease of the elderly? India’s diabetes population is dangerously on the rise and set to cross 100 million by 2030 and yet misconceptions and myths about this lifestyle disease that is linked to various other health complications are in abundance.
Prevention, as doctors say, can be practised with knowledge and therefore awareness is an important tool to fight this health monster. One of the most popular myths associated with diabetes, according to S.V. Madhu, secretary, Research Society for the Study of Diabetes in India (RSSDI), is that it is caused by consuming too much sugar.
“Eating sugar does not cause diabetes per se, although it is recommended to limit your sugar intake,” Madhu told IANS. “Diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which the glucose level in the blood rises beyond the normal limit which damages tissues in the body and can lead to a host of complications like cardiac problems, kidney problems and even blindness”.
Another common myth is that once you start taking insulin you become dependent on it for life. “People often think that insulin is like a drug that you get addicted to, but the truth is that diabetics are not so much bothered about insulin itself as the process of daily injecting themselves with it,” Pradeep Chowbey, vice chairman, Max Healthcare, told IANS. “Insulin, in fact, reduces the complications that come with diabetes and helps you lead a better life,” he added.
S.K. Nagrani, senior consultant, Diabetology at Max Hospital, concurred. “People think that insulin may drastically reduce their blood sugar level and harm them, but the truth is insulin is the best way to control diabetes,” he said.
Most people also still have a notion that diabetes is the disease of the elderly, and that people whose parents are diabetics will, in turn, suffer from the disease too – both of which are not true.
(Nov 14 is World Diabetes Day)