Diabetes is one of the most prevalent and debilitating chronic disease of modern society. One in Three (!) Americans has either diabetes or pre-diabetes. Tens of millions of Americans are prediabetic or in early stages of type 2 diabetes and don’t even know.
Do you know if you’re one of them?
There are several misconceptions about diabetes that we’d like to dispel:
Misconception # 1: Nothing can happen to me, I feel great!
FACT: Dangerous complications are often the FIRST visible sign of diabetes.
Some people show no symptoms of diabetes until a complication such as kidney disease arises. Some of these complications can be fatal if left untreated! Don’t let a complication from diabetes be the first time you discover you’ve got diabetes. Get tested.
Misconception # 2: There’s nothing you can do once you get diabetes. . . might as well enjoy life and not worry!
FACT: You can prevent diabetes from developing and slow its progression.
If you have prediabetes, you can prevent it from developing into diabetes by changing your diet and adding regular exercise to your routine. Proper lifestyle adjustemnts can help delay the need for expensive insulin. The sooner you find out, the better your chances are at avoiding or delaying the need for medication.
Misconception # 3: Quality of life with diabetes is very low.
FACT: People living with diabetes can live a normal life!
Luckily, diabetes is treatable through diet, lifestyle and/or medication. There’s no easy answer on what to do for each individual case, however without knowing what your situation is (i.e. getting tested) you may have a very treatable condition that goes untreated. The longer it is left untreated, the more difficult it may be to live a normal life!
Misconception # 4: My health problems aren’t related to diabetes . . . they’re just health issues.
FACT: Many health issues are in fact related to diabetes.
Diabetes can show itself in so many different ways; it’s worth finding out if you have diabetes to see if it is causing other problems such as recurring infections, impaired vision or numbness in your hands or feet. Other conditions that seem age-related, like bladder control problems for women or erectile dysfunction for men could be a related to diabetes. Health conditions that are a result of diabetes will not go away until the diabetes is addressed. And if you don’t have diabetes, great, you can eliminate it as a cause and move on with your treatment.
The test for diabetes is simple and many areas have FREE diabetes testing at pharmacies, community centers and hospitals. For yourself, for your family, and for your loved ones – get tested!
Do you have diabetes or prediabetes? Try our Diabetes app for iPhone.