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Studies reveal that the UAE has one of the world’s highest prevalence rates of type 2 diabetes at an alarming age-adjusted comparative Diabetes prevalence of 16.4%. However; there are still various myths surrounding the condition.

Myth 1: All types of diabetes are the same.

Fact: The most common types of diabetes are type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. Each type has different causes and therapeutic options. In most cases gestational diabetes ceases post pregnancy; however, it does significantly increase the risk of acquiring type 2 diabetes.  

Myth 2: Being overweight leads to diabetes.

Fact: Excess weight does increase your chances of having diabetes. However, many people who are overweight or obese never develop diabetes, while people who are not overweight might.

Myth 3: Excessive sugar consumption is the major cause of diabetes.

Fact: Eating sugar does not cause diabetes. However, its best to control consuming excessive sugar and drinking sugar-sweetened beverages since it leads to excessive weight gain which can increase one’s risk for diabetes.

Myth 4: Diabetic people need to eat a special diet.

Fact: People with diabetes can consume the same foods that everyone does; separate meals need not be prepared for different family members. Well-balanced meals, which include lean protein, vegetables, healthy fats and whole grains, are good for everyone and can help manage blood sugar. Food high in fat, salt, and sugar should be avoided. Your healthcare provider can develop a meal plan that works best for you.

Myth 5: Diabetics can never consume sweets.

Fact: Diabetics can consume small amounts of sweets occasionally while ensuring their sugar levels are in control.

Myth 6: Injecting insulin means one is not good at managing blood sugar.

Fact: Exercise, diet changes, oral antidiabetic agents or non-insulin injectable medicines may not be enough to keep your blood sugar in control. Thus, injecting insulin might be necessary for glycemic control. Furthermore, type 1 Diabetic patients can only use insulin for treatment.

Myth 7: It is unsafe to exercise with diabetes.

Fact: Exercising regularly is an important part of managing diabetes. Exercise helps boost your body's sensitivity to insulin. It can also help lower your haemoglobin A1C, which measures your average blood sugar levels over the past 3 months.

Myth 8: People with borderline diabetes (Pre-diabetes) don't need to worry.

Fact: Prediabetes is a condition where your blood sugar levels are too high to be called normal. This means that you are at high risk for developing diabetes and should be taken seriously and preventive action is necessary to avoid progression to overt Diabetes.

Myth 9: Diabetics can quit medicine once their blood sugar is under control.

Fact: Diabetes is a progressive disease, and even if you are doing all you can to stay healthy, medication is indispensable to keep blood sugar within your target range. Your healthcare provider would best be able to guide you on medication requirements.

Myth 10: Diabetes is not serious.

Fact: If left uncontrolled, diabetes can lead to serious health complications including blindness, kidney damage and heart attacks or strokes. Hence, taking preventive measures is crucial in effective management of the condition.

Diabetes is a slow killer with no known curable treatments. However, its complications can be reduced through proper awareness and timely treatment. It is important to keep the blood glucose levels of diabetics under strict control to avoid further complications.


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