Which type is worse? Will you get it? We address some of the most common questions.
Diabetes myths unravelled
Myth: Being overweight means you will eventually develop diabetes
This is incorrect. Being overweight is a risk factor alongside things like family history, ethnicity, not exercising, age and blood pressure - but in itself it is not a single, clear cut reason for developing the disease. Losing weight and taking regular exercise will help contribute to decreasing the risk of becoming diabetic, but people of a healthy weight can also be affected. You can find out whether you are risk by taking Diabetes’ UK simple test online: https://riskscore.diabetes.org.uk/start?gclid=CM720bDI39ACFc-97QodImECxQ
Myth: Type 2 is milder than Type 1
This is incorrect. Whilst type 2 diabetes is more common than type 1, there is no such thing as a ‘milder’ form of the disease. People with type 2 diabetes can develop serious long-term health issues, and should follow their doctor’s advice to control their symptoms and prevent it from developing further.
Myth: If you are diabetic you can’t eat sugar
Wrong. People with diabetes should eat a healthy balanced diet that is low in sugar, salt and fat. This does not mean sugar needs to be eliminated completely, particularly if combined with regular exercise and carefully moderated. If you are diagnosed with diabetes your healthcare professional will advise you on meal plans, portion sizes and nutrition, and what level of sugar consumption is safe for you.
Myth: If I have diabetes I must inject myself
This is incorrect. There are many types of diabetes medication, some of which are available in tablet form. The type and format of medication you need depends on how progressed your condition is, and your individual needs.
Myth: Diabetes is heredity
This is more complicated than a simple yes/no answer. Your genes can play a role in whether or not you develop type 1 or type 2 diabetes, however your personal lifestyle and environment can also contribute. In both cases, neither types can be 100% determined by your genetic composition. For example, if both your mother and father have type 2 diabetes your likelihood of developing it is around 75%. In the case of type 1 diabetes this is lower at around 30%.
If you have a family history of diabetes there are various measures you can take to try and reduce your risk of developing it. Information is available from yoru GP and charities such as Diabetes UK.
If you are concerned about developing symptoms relating to Diabetes or your existing diagnosis you should speak to your GP. In some cases you may be referred to a consultant in Diabetes and Endocrinology for more specialiast treatment.