Today, via Wego Health’s #HAWMC, we are supposed to use a Madlib website to create a poem. I tried, and it was a complete failure. It was beyond illiterate and ridiculous and not remotely funny. So, instead of rewriting it I decided to do a bit of online advocacy.
Today I’d like to conduct an experiment via social media to see if I can do something to help bust some of the myths about diabetes. I plan to post a link to this blog post on my Facebook page in the hopes that others will share it. Maybe, just maybe, someone out there will be enlightened and more informed about diabetes. (crossing my fingers)
One of the major myths about diabetes is what causes it to appear. How do we get diabetes? Here are my very simplified explanations:
Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease where the pancreas ceases to produce enough insulin (or any at all.) People who have type 1 diabetes must inject insulin in order to live. Type 1 diabetes most often shows up in children but can also manifest in adults. What does insulin do? Here is a quote from DiabetesForum.com:
“In simple terms insulin encourages your body’s cells to drain glucose from your blood and store it as glycogen in the liver and muscles of your body. This is then used as an energy source for your body as and when required and stops the body burning fat to create energy.”
Without insulin there will be too much glucose in the blood which will cause organ damage.
People with type 1 diabetes didn’t “get it” by eating too much sugar. There is no cure. It won’t just go away. No matter how/what they eat, people with type 1 diabetes will always require insulin injections, until there is a cure.
Type 2 diabetes is a different story. Most people with type 2 diabetes are “insulin resistant”. Their pancreas may produce insulin but the cells are resistant to accepting it. (There are numerous variations on this but I don’t intend to splain it all here.) There is a strong genetic component with type 2 diabetes. In other words, people who develop diabetes are pre-disposed to get it. (Thanks dear ancestors). While an unhealthy diet and inactivity may hasten the development of type 2 diabetes, it does not cause it. Just like with type 1, people with type 2 didn’t eat their way into the disease. Not all heavy/inactive people will get type 2 diabetes and not all people with type 2 are heavy/inactive.
There is a lot of talk in the media about a cure for type 2 diabetes. It is said that all we have to do is lose weight and exercise and we’ll be cured. This is a fallacy. Type 2 diabetes can be controlled with a healthy diet and regular exercise but there is not a cure….yet. Even those people who go through bariatric surgery and see their glucose numbers lowered are not cured.
There is also no such thing as a “diabetes diet”. There are numerous ways to eat and successfully control our blood sugar. Controlling the amount of carbohydrates we consume is definitely the right direction to head. Each individual who has type 2 diabetes (and type 1 for that matter) must use a glucose monitor to determine what and how much food they can consume.
Every person who has diabetes, regardless of type, is just like you. They don’t deserve to be treated any differently. They shouldn’t be looked down upon because they have this disease. It’s not their fault. They didn’t do this to themselves. People with diabetes know what they can and can’t eat; please don’t attempt to advise them or assume you know better.
It’s my hope that people will read this and possibly understand a little better. We all hope for a cure. In the meantime we work hard, each and every day, to control our disease the best we can. Thank you for taking the time to educate yourself. Now, pass it on!