Despite being one of the most widespread diseases in the United States, diabetes is still associated with a multitude of myths and misconceptions. Because the risk of death is 50 percent higher for people with diabetes than for the rest of the population, ignorance about the disease can have devastating health consequences. In honor of Diabetes Awareness Month, New Hampshire Home Care Assistance presents five of the most common myths and the real truth behind them.
Myth #1: Only Overweight People Get Diabetes
While obesity is one of the major risks factors for developing diabetes, contributors like genetics, ethnicity, and age play a role as well. Many people with type 2 diabetes are at a weight that’s considered normal.
Myth #2: Eating Too Much Sugar Can Cause Diabetes
The weight gain associated with eating calorie-packed sweets is more of a contributor to the disease than the sugar itself. Some studies have shown a link, however, between drinking sugar-sweetened beverages and the onset of type 2 diabetes.
Myth #3: You’ll Know If You Have the Disease
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that one out of four people with diabetes don’t know they have the disease. That’s partly because early symptoms like fatigue, increased thirst, and more frequent urination are often overlooked or disregarded.
Myth #4: People with Diabetes Have to Eat Special Food
Generally, the best diet for people with diabetes is the same balanced food plan that experts recommended for everyone else. The diet should include fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, and healthy fats. With careful management, small portions of sweets and starches can be enjoyed as well.
Myth #5: Once You Have Diabetes, You’re Stuck with It
While there is no cure for type 1 diabetes, the far more common type 2 form can usually be improved by adopting a healthier lifestyle. Multiple studies show that people who become physically fit, lose weight, and maintain a healthy diet are often able to manage type 2 diabetes without medication for many years.
Managing symptoms and treatment for diabetes can become increasingly challenging with age. If your senior loved one could use a helping hand, hourly or live-in care in New Hampshire can ensure he or she has help with everything from eating right to getting regular exercise. To learn more about the services provided by Home Care Assistance of New Hampshire, please give us a call at (603) 471-3004 and schedule a complimentary in-home consultation.