The truth and myths about diabetes

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The truth and myths about diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic disease in which the blood sugar level is elevated. This is due to the fact that the pancreas either does not produce insulin, or synthesized insulin can not work effectively. The number of people with diabetes over the past 35 years has increased 4-fold. Now more than 400 million people in the world are sick with diabetes, and the prevalence of the disease continues to grow. The World Health Organization expects that diabetes will take seventh place among the causes of death by 2030.

There are 2 main types of diabetes mellitus:

  • In type 1 diabetes mellitus (D1) insulin in the pancreas ceases to be produced. To prevent the development of this disease is currently not possible. The only way to treat is daily insulin injections throughout life.
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM2) is much more common than CD1. The main cause of its development is obesity, so weight control is a key factor in the prevention of diabetes. Hereditary predisposition plays an important role (it ranges from 40 to 75%).

There is also gestational diabetes that develops or appears for the first time during pregnancy.

Diabetes 2 type are diagnosed much more often than other forms of the disease: it is detected in 90% of cases. The results of numerous studies indicate that it is possible to prevent or delay its appearance: it is worth not forgetting about a healthy lifestyle, balanced diet and physical activity. A considerable role is played by the public awareness of diabetes, the causes of its occurrence and much more.

Together with Olesya Yuryevna Gurova, Candidate of Medical Sciences, associate professor of the Department of Endocrinology of the First Moscow State Medical University. THEM. Sechenov, we collected common misconceptions about diabetes, and found out where the truth is.

The truth and myths about diabetes

Olesya Yurievna Gurova

Diabetes appears if there is a lot of sweet

Not really So. Sweet consumption can potentially lead to an increase in body weight and promote the development of type 2 diabetes in predisposed individuals, because the main cause of its development is precisely obesity and heredity. Excess weight is an obstacle to the normal operation of insulin, which is still being developed at the onset of the disease. Years later, the pancreas gradually loses its ability to produce a sufficient amount of insulin. At the same time, the love of sweets does not affect the development of type 1 diabetes. With this disease, pancreatic cells that produce insulin are destroyed by antibodies that are produced by the body itself (a process called “autoimmune”). Science can not yet give a definitive answer about the causes of diabetes, however, it is known that by inheritance this disease is transmitted extremely rarely, in 3-7% of cases.

If I have diabetes, then I immediately find out about it

It’s not always like that. This statement is true for Type 1 diabetes mellitus – the disease develops rapidly and the symptoms are too obvious to not notice. However, type 2 diabetes mellitus can last for a long time without any symptoms and this is its insidiousness: many patients do not even suspect the presence of the disease when it already exists, and someone refuses the recommended treatment because it feels quite normal. Follow the doctor’s recommendations. With the progression of the disease and the absence of treatment, serious complications, kidney, heart, and nerve cell damage can develop.

Type 1 diabetes is always manifested in childhood, and type 2 diabetes can only be in adults

No. Diabetes mellitus of both 1 and 2 types can occur at absolutely any age. Indeed, the first type of diabetes is more likely to affect children, adolescents and young adults, but it can also begin at a much later age. Because the key factor in the development of diabetes is obesity, then its appearance is possible at absolutely any age if excess body weight is expressed. The problem of childhood obesity and development of CD2 against this background is currently extremely urgent. Diabetes type 2 is more common in people older than 45 years, but in recent years, doctors are concerned that the disease began to diagnose and patients in a younger age.

With diabetes you can not eat sweets, but rather go to special diabetic foods

No. Completely refuse from the usual products do not need, but adjust the diet will have to. Diabetic foods may seem like a worthy alternative to “regular” sweets and desserts. Choosing them, you need to remember that they have a lot of fat, and therefore their frequent use can lead to weight gain. In addition, such special food is much more expensive than conventional products. Optimal for people with diabetes, and for all those who monitor their health, will be switching to a healthy diet – a diet rich in complex carbohydrates, proteins, fruits, vegetables and vitamins. The results of several studies indicate that complex therapy, including medication, as well as healthy diet and physical activity, is a more effective approach than simply taking medications.

Insulin causes dependence, so you need to stab it only as a last resort

No. People with type 1 diabetes can not do without insulin injections, because they are vital. With type 2 diabetes at the onset of the disease, the pancreas usually still produces a sufficient amount of insulin, so the patient is prescribed tableted or injectable hypoglycemic drugs that help their own insulin work more efficiently. However, as the disease progresses, the ability of the body to produce insulin is greatly reduced and the time comes when all drugs become ineffective, then insulin preparations come to the rescue. Unfortunately, many patients are afraid of insulin therapy for various reasons, and not always justified. Nevertheless, at the stage when the tablets are already incapable of reducing sugar, any delay in switching to insulin therapy leads to an increased risk of complications associated with long-persisting elevated blood sugar levels. No less important than reducing the level of sugar is the intake of drugs that control the level of cholesterol and blood pressure, which must also be constant!

Insulin causes weight gain

No. Patients who are prescribed insulin therapy, really often begin to gain weight. A high level of sugar provokes weight loss: glucose is excreted in the urine, and along with it – part of the calories consumed. With the appointment of insulin, the process of losing “calories” with sugar stops and they remain in the body. If a person continues to lead that way of life, to which he is accustomed (there is a high-calorie food, little to move), then the body weight will increase, but this will not happen because of insulin.

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