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Diabetes myths dispelled

Diabetes, the chronic condition that affects well over a million people in the UK today, can be hard to understand. The nature of the disease means that many people are simply unaware that they have it. Knowledge about treatment is also constantly evolving. This brief article, in the run up to Christmas, aims to dispel a few basic myths about the diabetic condition.
Firstly, eating lots of sugar does not give you diabetes. However, eating lots of sugar may lead to weight gain, and perhaps obesity – both factors that do increase ones risk of developing adult-onset diabetes. Type 1 diabetes occurs due to genetic inheritance and environmental triggers combined. Those people who have diabetes in their family are advised not to smoke, to eat well and to take regular exercise.
Diabetes does not preclude eating sweets, but it does mean sugar consumption should be regulated… just like in any healthy diet.
Not all diabetics need daily injections of insulin. Insulin regulates the body’s blood glucose. In diabetics, the immune system kills pancreatic beta sells that produce insulin. However, it is only in Type 1 diabetes that insulin injections are an almost mandatory requirement. Many Type 2 diabetics can regulate their disease with healthy diet, exercise and in some cases tablets. Type 2 diabetes is by far the most common of the two forms – figures indicate that 90% of diabetics are type 2. A stunning 80% of these patients are overweight or obese.

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