Diabetes is a chronic disease present in 9.4% of the Mexican population. The ones who are at most risk of developing this disease are those with direct relatives that have diabetes, are over 65 years old and are overweight or obese. It is worth to mention that 7 out of 10 Mexicans have excess weight.
Despite diabetes is a disease with a high prevalence in the Mexican population, there are several myths about it. These are some of them:
- Diabetes can be caused by a fright: When the body experiences a stressful situation, it prepares itself to have enough available energy to confront it. This is the reason blood glucose to be high, being released from the liver to serve as an energy source. However, this does not indicate a diabetes diagnosis. If at the time this person goes to a checkup and has elevated blood glucose, it is likely that this disease was not previously diagnosed, because diabetes is gradually developed with unspecific symptoms.
- Diabetes is not a serious illness: This condition represents the second cause of death in Mexico. In 2015, there were 98,521 registered deaths due to diabetes. Moreover, uncontrolled diabetes may cause severe complications such as blindness, kidney failure and feet or leg amputations.
- It is possible to cure diabetes: Until now, there is no cure for diabetes. Nevertheless, it is possible to control it and have a good quality of life if adequate treatment is followed.
- Patients with diabetes must not consume food with carbohydrates (bread, tortillas, and fruits, among others): Certain foods rise blood glucose more than others, but a diet for a patient with diabetes can be similar to that of a person who does not have the disease. In general a varied diet is recommended, rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains (whole grain pasta and bread), legumes and nuts, besides low-fat meat and dairy. These foods must be included on a proper diet, in the recommended amount, instead of remove them completely.
- Patients with diabetes cannot exercise: Regular exercise is recommended for a patient with diabetes, if previously authorized by their physician. Exercise helps to maintain weight in an adequate range, and glucose to be used more efficiently by the body. Other benefits include a better cardiovascular system and stress relief.
Do not doubt in reaching out to your health professional if you have any question on diabetes prevention, treatment or care. With evidence-based information from health specialists you can better prevent and control diabetes and its complications.
American Diabetes Association. Mitos sobre la diabetes. Available from: http://www.diabetes.org/es/informacion-basica-de-la-diabetes/mitos/
American Diabetes Association. Blood glucose and exercise. Available from: http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/fitness/get-started-safely/blood-glucose-control-and-exercise.html
Harvard Medical School. Understanding the stress response. Available from: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/understanding-the-stress-response
INEGI. Principales causas de mortalidad por residencia habitual, grupos de edad y sexo del fallecido. 2015
University of California. Blood sugar and stress. Available from: https://dtc.ucsf.edu/types-of-diabetes/type2/understanding-type-2-diabetes/how-the-body-processes-sugar/blood-sugar-stress/
WebMD. Plain truth: Diabetes myths debunked. Available from: https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/features/diabetes-myths-truth#2