Does sugar actually kill you? Dispelling myths about diabetes

Many Malaysians are nonetheless oblivious as to how diabetes is recognized.

Diabetes mellitus, generally generally known as diabetes, is a bunch of metabolic problems during which the pancreas not produces sufficient insulin, or the cells cease responding to the insulin that’s produced, leading to glucose within the blood that can’t be absorbed into the cells of the physique.

This causes extreme urine manufacturing, extreme quantities of sugar within the blood and urine, thirst, starvation and weight reduction, amongst others.

Left untreated or poorly managed, diabetes can result in additional well being problems, even dying.

Diabetic sufferers have two to 3 instances increased danger of stroke and persistent kidney illness, 10 instances increased danger of foot ulcers – each 30 seconds a decrease limb or a part of a decrease limb is being amputated, and one in 14 sufferers are liable to turning into blind resulting from harm to the eyes (diabetic macular oedema).

In keeping with information from the Worldwide Diabetes Federation, each eight seconds, somebody dies because of diabetes.

Nevertheless, 50% of sort 2 diabetes circumstances are preventable.

You’ll have heard that consuming an excessive amount of sugar causes diabetes. Or possibly somebody informed you that you need to quit all of your favorite meals whenever you’re on a diabetes weight-reduction plan.

Listed below are the info to dispel a few of the fiction surrounding diabetes.


In case you have diabetes mellitus, you may by no means eat sweets.


The cells in your physique require glucose as it’s the power supply of life. It’s a widespread delusion that when you’ve got diabetes, then you should keep away from sugar. Consuming extra sweets doesn’t trigger diabetes, and the quantity of sugar you may eat will depend upon the kind of diabetes you might be affected by.

Within the case of sort 2 diabetes, you should preserve every part carefully as there ought to be a portion of sugar together with greens, entire grains and lean protein as what’s really useful within the Ministry of Well being’s quarter-quarter half weight-reduction plan.

Nevertheless for sort 1 diabetes (autoimmune situation and sufferers are insulin-dependent), the dose of your subsequent insulin will depend on the sugary carbohydrates you might have consumed.

Studying meals labels is nice technique to management what you might be consuming and it’s finest to keep away from something that has greater than 8gm of sugar per serving.

Glycemic index is a quantity which lets you differentiate the slower-acting “good carbs” from the faster-acting “dangerous carbs”. Choosing meals objects which have a low glycemic index can be one other approach to assist preserve your blood sugar in verify.


Solely overweight persons are more likely to endure from diabetes.


This delusion is partially true as having metabolic syndrome (a cluster of circumstances that happen collectively i.e. elevated blood strain, excessive blood sugar, extra physique fats across the waist and irregular ldl cholesterol or triglyceride ranges) will increase your danger of coronary heart illness, stroke and sort 2 diabetes.

Different elements like genes, age and ethnicity play a serious position in figuring out one’s danger of potential diabetes, which is prevalent amongst Indians (24.9%), Malays (16.9%) and Chinese language (13.8%). If you’re genetically predisposed to diabetes genes, it could be more durable to keep away from the illness, regardless of retaining your self trim.


Individuals with diabetes all the time want insulin and taking insulin means you might have failed in managing the illness.


Individuals with sort 1 diabetes often want insulin for all times. Nevertheless, sort 2 diabetes might be managed with oral medicine and/or insulin, together with a nutritious diet and common train.The purpose is to get your blood glucose ranges inside regular targets (fasting 4.4– mmol/ L and post-meal 4.4 -8.5 mmol/L).

As sort 2 diabetes is a progressive sickness, the vast majority of these troubled will ultimately want insulin over time, and this shouldn’t be thought to be a failure.

When it comes to insulin, it's best to use small, fine needles and change them after every three injections to prevent a painful situation. — RelaxnewsOn the subject of insulin, it is best to make use of small, nice needles and alter them after each three injections to stop a painful state of affairs. — Relaxnews


Insulin injections harm and might trigger dangerously low blood sugar.


Utilizing small, nice needles and altering them after each three injections can stop a painful state of affairs. Studying the appropriate approach and common monitoring of blood glucose can stop hypoglycemic episodes equivalent to anxiousness, shaky arms, sweating and an urge to eat.

Recognising the signs and consuming easy life savers like a candy drink or 15gm of carbohydrates can rapidly reverse the state of affairs.


Insulin is troublesome to take and causes weight achieve.


Presently, it is extremely straightforward to self-administer insulin, which is obtainable within the type of transportable pen injectors. It doesn’t require refrigeration as soon as opened, and there are numerous regimes which might be adjusted in line with the person’s wants. It can be used discreetly, some simply as soon as a day.

Insulin remedy itself doesn’t induce weight achieve however some sufferers with sort 2 diabetes could achieve weight (which can be transient) after beginning insulin remedy as a result of if they’re responding to the therapy, the physique begins to course of blood glucose extra usually, resulting in weight achieve.

That is one purpose unexplained weight reduction might be an early symptom of diabetes.


Oral medicines are higher than insulin.


Oral medicines equivalent to metformin, are very protected and nice with regards to decreasing blood glucose ranges. Nevertheless not all sufferers reply properly to simply oral medicines, particularly those that have poorly managed diabetes, kidney impairment or failure, or coronary heart failure because of the complication of diabetes. This group of sufferers will profit from insulin extra as it’s pretty protected.

You can still eat sweets and desserts if you're diabetic but do so in moderation. — FilepicYou possibly can nonetheless eat sweets and desserts for those who’re diabetic however accomplish that carefully. — Filepic


You can’t train when you’ve got diabetes.


Incorporating train in your day by day routine is a wonderful approach to assist management diabetes. The 5 finest train really useful for diabetes are:

  • Brisk strolling – 150 minutes every week and/or not less than 90 minutes every week of vigorous cardio exercise, plus not less than two periods per week of resistance train.
  • Tai Chi – gives important enchancment in blood glucose management whereas rising vitality, power and psychological well being
  • Yoga – helps incorporate fluid actions that construct flexibility, power and stability. It lowers stress and improves nerve perform, resulting in an elevated state of psychological well being and wellness. Yoga additionally improves blood glucose ranges resulting from improved muscle mass.
  • Dancing – remembering dance steps is a type of mind train. As a bodily exercise, dancing promotes weight reduction, improves flexibility, lowers blood glucose and reduces stress. A mere 30 minutes of dancing will lead to a 70kg grownup burning as much as 150 energy.
  • Swimming – stretches and relaxes the muscle tissues and doesn’t put strain on the joints, which is nice for these with diabetes. Research reveals that swimming improves levels of cholesterol, burns energy and lowers stress ranges.

All in all, shedding 5% to 10% of your physique weight may help sluggish or cease the development of sort 2 diabetes.


You can’t get pregnant in case you are diabetic.


A diabetic girl can get pregnant. It is usually potential for her to ship wholesome infants if there’s a tight management over the blood glucose ranges earlier than and through being pregnant. Throughout being pregnant, diabetic sufferers can be handled with insulin. This doesn’t trigger any hurt to the child.

Subsequently, its really useful that you just take sufficient precautions earlier than conception, as poorly managed diabetes can lead to your child having delivery defects, a few of them lifelong circumstances.

Excessive blood sugar ranges can hurt your child within the first few weeks of being pregnant, even earlier than you uncover you might be pregnant!


You will have dialysis in case you are diabetic.


For a diabetic affected person, kidney impairment is a long run complication. As we all know, diabetes is a progressive illness, therefore the blood vessels of the kidneys are broken over time and so they can’t filter the blood as they used to.

If left untreated for lengthy, there are excessive probabilities of kidney failure. In such circumstances, you’ll require dialysis to wash your blood stream. Nevertheless, for those who can management your diabetes correctly, this danger might be delayed for fairly a while.

There are numerous diabetic sufferers who by no means needed to resort to dialysis of their lifetime.


It’s potential to “cleanse” diabetes with detoxes, conventional medicines or dietary supplements.


There is no such thing as a cure-all diabetes cleanser. Whereas it’s tempting to fall prey to those merchandise that declare to behave as a “marvel drug”, there’s no scientific proof of their effectiveness.

Quite the opposite, in view that natural dietary supplements will not be regulated by the United States-based Meals and Drug Administration, it’s troublesome to know the precise content material in every pill.

These therapies would possibly lead to long run unwanted effects equivalent to kidney failure. It’s finest to stay with well-researched medicines which have been prescribed by your physician and put your cash to good use by spending it on wholesome meals.

Dr Shalena Nesaratnam is a marketing consultant doctor and endocrinologist. For extra info, electronic mail The knowledge supplied is for academic functions solely and shouldn’t be thought-about as medical recommendation. The Star doesn’t give any guarantee on accuracy, completeness, performance, usefulness or different assurances as to the content material showing on this column. The Star disclaims all duty for any losses, harm to property or private harm suffered straight or not directly from reliance on such info.

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