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Why Symptom-Free Individuals Should Still Monitor Diabetes Risk

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One of the most frequently mentioned terms alongside COVID-19 has been “underlying health conditions.” Notably, it was revealed that half of the majority of COVID-19 fatalities had diabetes. Diabetes is a far more dangerous disease than many of us realize. With a recent surge in diabetes patients, the term “diabetes epidemic” has emerged. If you’ve ever wondered, ‘Could I possibly have diabetes?’ here are ten misconceptions and truths about diabetes, including early signs, types, and more.

What are the early signs of diabetes?

The main symptoms of diabetes include excessive thirst (polydipsia), frequent urination (polyuria), and increased hunger (polyphagia), collectively referred to as the “three P’s.” Persistent fatigue is also a sign to watch out for. Diabetes patients feel tired and lethargic because glucose isn’t utilized as an energy source and instead leaves the body, resulting in an energy deficiency. Sudden weight loss is another symptom that should raise suspicion.

What are the types of diabetes?

Diabetes is divided into Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 diabetes is a problem with the pancreas itself. Type 2 diabetes occurs due to a complex set of factors, including insulin resistance in the liver and muscles, issues with intestinal hormones, central nervous system problems, and reabsorption of glucose in the kidneys. In particular, Type 2 diabetes accounts for over 85% of all diabetes cases and has been found to result from poor dietary and lifestyle habits. According to statistics from the National Health Insurance Service, the number of patients in their 20s suffering from diabetes has increased by 38.9% over the past five years.

Does diabetes occur from overeating sugar?

Is diabetes caused by overeating sweet food? Many people mistakenly believe that consuming a lot of sugar or sweet foods leads to diabetes, but sweet foods are not the direct cause of diabetes. Glucose travels through the bloodstream to essential organs such as muscles, fat, and the brain, which are necessary for life. Insulin is the hormone that plays a significant role in this process. Diabetes does not result from eating a lot of sweet foods but rather from a decrease or insufficient insulin action.

Should diabetic patients cut off sugar and carbohydrates?

If diabetes is unrelated to sweet foods, can diabetes patients eat sugar and carbohydrates? While it would be best to avoid these as much as possible, it is not necessary to eliminate them. Diabetes patients should aim for meals high in fiber, which slowly raises blood sugar levels. If you’ve consumed something sweet like sugar, honey, or chocolate, you should eat fewer other carbohydrates accordingly.

Should diabetes patients only eat mixed-grain rice?

As previously mentioned, diabetes patients benefit from meals high in fiber. However, this does not mean they should only consume mixed-grain rice, which is one of the most common misconceptions. Mixed-grain rice is recommended over white rice as it reduces overeating and contains more fiber and a small amount of vitamins. However, if mixed-grain rice is not to your liking, it may be healthier to cook and enjoy white rice.

Do only overweight people get diabetes?

The idea that only overweight people get diabetes is a complete misconception. While obesity is one cause of insulin resistance, lean people can also develop diabetes if their insulin secretion is too weak. Whether a person is overweight, lean, or of average build, insulin secretion matters. These days, the number of diabetes cases is rapidly increasing due to poor dietary and lifestyle habits, regardless of obesity.

Is diabetes hereditary?

Just as most diseases have a genetic component, it is said that diabetes can be inherited. However, just because a parent has diabetes does not automatically mean their child will develop the disease. If one parent has diabetes, the probability of their child developing the disease is 15%. If both parents have diabetes, the probability increases to around 30%. While genetic predisposition may exist, it is not a genetic disease. However, if there are diabetes patients in the family, it would be wise to pay attention to health management.

Is there no need to visit the hospital if there are no symptoms?

There are cases where people think that if they have no symptoms and monitor their blood sugar at home with a glucometer, there’s no need to go to the hospital for a blood sugar test. However, it’s essential not to overlook that the blood sugar levels measured with a glucometer at home can be lower than the actual levels. It’s advisable to get blood sugar tests at the hospital regularly to compare and ensure the accuracy of self-monitoring results.

Should diabetes patients avoid walking barefoot?

Many people wear sandals barefoot in the summer or during the rainy season, but diabetes patients should avoid doing so because it’s easy to get injured barefoot. Avoid shoes that don’t fit well, and always check the inside of your shoes for foreign objects before putting them on. Other habits to avoid include crossing your legs, sitting with your legs under you, or standing for too long, as these can hinder blood circulation.

Can diabetes be cured?

Diabetes is often considered incurable once it develops. However, many cases of type 2 diabetes have been cured through consistent diet control and exercise. In the case of Type 1 diabetes, there have been instances where the beta cells in the pancreas regenerate, leading to a cure. Moreover, if you manage your diet and exercise rigorously at the pre-diabetes stage, you can prevent the progression to diabetes.

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