Misconceptions complicate diabetes awareness

Diabetes refers to a group of diseases that affect the body’s production or use of insulin.

Mo’vember is also Diabetes Awareness Month.

Diabetes refers to a group of diseases that affect the body’s production or use of insulin. Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas that allows the cells of the body to absorb sugar from the bloodstream and use it for energy.

If left uncontrolled, diabetes results in consistently high blood sugar levels, or hyperglycemia.

Over time, hyperglycemia damages blood vessels, nerves, and organs such as the kidneys, eyes and heart. The goal of diabetes management is to prevent high blood sugars.

Myth #1: Diabetes only happens to overweight people who don’t exercise.

Diabetes can happen to anybody. And just to make sure no one is excluded, there are many types of diabetes:

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas.  People with type 1 are dependent on an external source of insulin for life. We do not know what causes type 1 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder that usually starts off with insulin resistance (the body does not use the insulin it makes properly) and progresses to an insulin deficiency (the body can no longer make enough insulin). This is the most common type of diabetes.

Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that develops during pregnancy.

Other diabetes: Although less common, diabetes can also be associated with some genetic defects, diseases (especially related to the pancreas), infections and certain medications (such as corticosteroids) that affect the body’s ability to produce or respond to insulin.

Myth #2: Eating sugar causes diabetes.

Eating sugar does not cause diabetes. However, eating lots of sugary foods can lead you to gain weight, increasing your insulin resistance and risk of becoming diabetic. Unfortunately, even people who avoid sugar can still get diabetes.

Myth #3: Diabetes is always preventable.

Unfortunately, diabetes is not always preventable. What we do know is that in some people, Type 2 diabetes can be delayed or prevented by lifestyle modification. Eating healthy, exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy body weight are the best ways to reduce your chances of getting type 2 diabetes.

 

– Serena Caner is a registered dietician who works at Shuswap Lake General Hospital.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Couple in crash on Highway 1 mistake North Shuswap for Lower Mainland

Chase RCMP report Mercedes Benz collides with transport truck

Province looking into pollution complaint at Shuswap dairy farm

Farm along the Salmon River has drawn complaints from the Okanagan Indian Band

Salmon Arm RCMP, new immigrants get acquainted at police station

Tour of detachment provides opportunity to explore differences in judicial systems

Shuswap speedskater takes on international competition in Poland

Salmon Arm’s Laura Hall too fourth place with Canadian team

Salmon Arm gives tax break to Canoe Forest Products plywood plant

Company tax bill to be reduced while residential taxpayers to pick up shortfall

Clothing, jewelry, purses: RCMP ask court about disposal of evidence in Robert Pickton case

Pickton was sentenced to life with no chance of parole for 25 years for the murders of six women

Ryan nets hat trick in return as Senators beat Canucks 5-2

Ottawa winger received assistance for admitted alcohol problem

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs meet with provincial, federal ministers

Neither party speaking on the groundwork laid for tomorrow’s talks

Speaker ‘will not tolerate illegal activity’ on B.C. legislature grounds, says chief of staff

Chief of staff to the B.C. speaker Alan Mullen says situation with demonstrators appears ‘fluid’

MPs to examine privacy implications of facial-recognition technology used by RCMP

The MPs will look at how the technology affects the privacy, security and safety of children

Dates back to 2009: Calgary police lay charges in fraud involving semi-trucks

Three people from Calgary are facing charges that include fraud over $5,000

Laughing ladies and country artists sell out Okanagan venue

Alan Doyle and I Am Woman, Hear Me Laff! back to back sold out

Revelstoke mother and daughter return home after coronavirus quarantine in Asia

Jensine Morabito and her daughter were on Holland America’s Westerdam but did not catch the virus

Ministry grants SD67 extension to balance books, submit amended budget

The board of trustees voted Monday to acquire outside help to deal with budget concerns

Most Read