4 dangerous diabetes myths

4 Dangerous Diabetes Myths

Everyone understands the devastating effects that cancer and heart disease can have on the body, but too few people understand just how much damage diabetes causes if not properly controlled and treated. It's a chronic disease that can steal someone's eyesight or destroy kidney function - take a limb or steal someone's life.

The following are four dangerous diabetes myths:

Myth #1: Oh, it's just a little diabetes.

Diabetes is a chronic illness where the pancreas fails to produce insulin. Heart disease, stroke, blindness and amputation are common and terrible outcomes when diabetes is not properly controlled.

Myth #2: Why worry? There's no way to prevent it.

Jean Marie Davidson, DO, Virtua endocrinologist, gives the facts: "Weight gain can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes. Weight loss actually can reverse the insulin resistance process. The key is to eat right, exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle."

"People who lose five to seven percent of their body weight and exercise five days a week for about 30 minutes can reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent," says Lois Gerst, RN, CDE, manager of the Virtua Center for Nutrition and Diabetes. For a 200 pound person, that's just 14 pounds.

Myth #3: All you do is take a pill to get rid of it.

Wrong. You don't get "rid" of diabetes. Once you have it, most likely, it's for life. However, by controlling it through weight reduction early on in the disease, someone can put diabetes into remission. Staying in remission means making an aggressive effort to monitor blood sugar, maintain a healthy weight and exercise regularly.

Myth #4: So my child is a bit overweight. So what?

Type 2 diabetes doesn't just pop up. It develops over 10 to 15 years as the body loses its ability to produce insulin, then it begins a damaging assault on the organs.

Updated February 15, 2017

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