Dr Aidin Rawshani

6 myths about type 2 diabetes


The incidence of type 2 diabetes has increased in recent years, probably due to the growing obesity epidemic. Several people with diabetes, on the other hand, are poorly informed about the disease itself. In this article, we go through various myths about type 2 diabetes to increase knowledge among individuals with diabetes.

1. Type 2 diabetes is the “mild” variant

This is very far from the truth. Both type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes are incredibly serious diseases. Blood sugar levels (HbA1c) rise in the body at both variants, they arise in different ways, but both can shorten life expectancy and cause serious complications. Type 2 diabetes increases the risk of other diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and accounts for many deaths in Sweden every year.

2. Diabetes is just about blood sugar

Yes, it is true that both types of diabetes involve sugar control and the treatments aim to lower sugar levels to reduce the risk of future complications. Diabetes, however, is a disease that affects much more than just blood sugar.Type 2 diabetes causes severe damage to the eyes, kidneys and nerves leading to kidney failure, visual impairment, loss of sensitivity in the feet and even loss of limbs. This is largely due to the effects that high blood sugar has on blood vessels. Type 2 diabetes affects virtually all tissues of the body from erectile dysfunction to dementia. Other important risk factors for type 2 diabetes are high blood pressure, blood lipids, smoking, central abdominal obesity and much more.

3. Diabetes affects only overweight

It is not true that diabetes only affects overweight. When you look at the figures for type 2 diabetes, only about 85 percent of cases will be overweight, which means that there are a few people who develop the disease even though they are normal weight.Not all obese people develop type 2 diabetes and there are other risk factors that people should know about. Family history, ethnicity and being older than 45 years are all risk factors and you are also at risk if you have a sedentary lifestyle or suffer from diabetes during pregnancy.

4. Type 2 diabetes affects only elderly people

In the past, type 2 diabetes used to be called “age diabetes” because only older people developed the disease. In connection with the increasing incidence of obesity, sedentary lifestyle and poor nutrition, the incidence of type 2 diabetes increased, especially among younger individuals. Type 2 diabetes is creeping down more and more in the ages and can now affect individuals as young as 18 years of age. Today, most people debute around the age of 65, but very many debuts earlier, especially those with bad lifestyle habits.

5. Diabetes affects only those who eat sweets

Sweets like pastries, cakes, ice cream and sweets lead to obesity and overweight, really it is not the sweets themselves that cause type 2 diabetes, possibly that the rapid increase in sugar affects the pancreas, but the long-term negative effect comes from obesity and overweight. There are several other risk factors that contribute to obesity such as Asian origin or heredity. It does not matter whether obesity comes from sweet foods, salty foods or lack of exercise, as long as you develop the condition, it remains a risk factor for future complications.

6. Type 2 diabetes can be cured with good nutrition

This is partly true, but can also detract from the severity of the condition. It is possible to reverse early stages of type 2 diabetes.A low GI diet can stabilize blood sugar levels and control the condition very well. Strict diet control, on the contrary, is not easy and takes a lot of willpower, education and motivation. Most individuals with type 2 diabetes need medication to control the risk factors.

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