According to the Lancet study in April this year, there is a fourfold rise in the number of diabetics – from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014 and half of them live in five countries -India, China, USA, Brazil and Indonesia.
In China, the numbers rose from 20.4 million in China in 1980 to 102.9 million in 2014, in India from 11.9 million in 1980 to 64.5 million. It doubled in men in India and China — 3.7 per cent to 9.1 per cent in India and 3.5 per cent to 9.9 per cent in China. Among women, it has increased by 50 per cent in China (5.0 per cent to 7.6 per cent) and 80 per cent among women in India (4.6 per cent to 8.3 per cent).
The World Health Organisation predicts that diabetes will become the seventh leading cause of death in 2030, sending the danger signals 15 years ahead to mke people understand the implications of the disease.
Here are top 10 myths about diabetes which you should be aware of and overcome with precautions given frequently by doctors and experts:
1. Obesity Begets Diabetes? No, it is not obesity or overweight that onsets the type 2 diabetes but the failure of physical activity and sedentary lifestyle that breeds the disease. It is not associated with type 1 diabetes, which stems from the immune system’s attack on the insulin-making beta cells in the pancreas. In fact, family history is a major contributor to type 2 diabetes.
2. Avoid sugar or sweets? Not entirely but reduce sugar intake and balance it with high-fibre carbohydrates, plenty of fruit and vegetables, and foods that are low in salt, saturated fat and refined sugar. If sugar ias added to packed foods, avoid them and choose less processed foods.
3. Brown vs. White Bread: Doctors disagree that mere white bread is the cause to rise our glucose levels. Whether brown or white bread, choose wholegrain breads and cereal with high fibre content as it reduces cholesterol and keeps a person feeling full so he or she may reduce food intake in turn. Just eat less amounts of carbohydrate.
4. Eat More Fruits? No, fruit contains fibre, vitamins and minerals and also carbohydrates which increase glucose in the boday. Instead take fruits with vegetables mixed equally.
5. Sugar Free Sweets? Don’t be fooled by sugar-free food made out of sweeteners which in turn increase your appetite and lead to more intake of carbohydrates. Taking sweets just as tasters is not bad, say doctors. Taking sweeteners is only recommended when it is absolutely required, according to experts.
6. Eat More Nuts? No, not all nuts have equal fibre though advised in random. For instance, cashew and groundnuts can result in more cholesterol and be avoided while walnuts can be made regular part of your diet to keep diabetes under control.
7. Preventing Diabetes? No, type 2 diabetes cannot be prevented nor it is it curable but can be delayed with rigorous exercise and eating a healthy diet, reducing weight and waistline. Diabetes cannot be mild but something waiting to happen. Once it is there, it remains only “under control” depending on a healthy diet and medication. Recent bariatric surgery can only lead to reduction in sugar intake but not entirely proved helpful to cure diabetes.
8. Low calorie-intake Cures Diabetes? No, very low calorie diets may result in weight loss, which in turn results in blood-sugar levels reaching non-diabetes levels. But very low-calorie diets cannot be sustained in the long term, resulting in other complications.
9. Eating More Sugar Gets You Diabetes? No, diabetes is caused even among those who hate sweets or averse to sugar candies. There is no direct link between sugar and diabetes, but diabetes, especially the type 2, is caused by genetics and lifestyle factors, unless you drink sugary drinks frequently and accumulate weight.
10. Diabetes Not Serious? Diabetes is a serious condition and annual check up is compulsory and those with high blood pressure require to pay more attention to their medication and check ups. Controlling diabetes helps in controlling cardio-vascular diseases in turn, say doctors.