By Edwin Baker –
World Diabetes Day has a significant history rooted in the collaborative efforts of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organization (WHO). It was established in 1991 as a response to the growing prevalence of diabetes worldwide. Recognising its importance, the United Nations officially designated it as a global observance in 2006.
Since its inception, World Diabetes Day has evolved into a powerful international campaign that spans more than 160 countries. It serves as a crucial platform for raising awareness about diabetes and advocating for improved care and prevention strategies.
Five Myths about Diabetes
Did you know that approximately 37.3 million people around the world are living with diabetes? It’s a complex disease that can have severe consequences if left untreated. Yet, there are quite a few myths surrounding diabetes that we need to debunk.
Myth 1: Diabetes isn’t a severe illness. Well, that couldn’t be further from the truth! If not properly managed, diabetes can wreak havoc on our bodies, causing kidney damage, eye problems, heart disease, and even strokes. So, it’s crucial to pay attention to any changes in our bodies and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Myth 2: Only overweight individuals can develop diabetes. While weight can be a contributing factor, anyone can be affected. Lack of physical activity, a diet rich in unhealthy fats and carbohydrates, a family history of diabetes, or even being an overweight child can increase the risk. It’s not solely about weight!
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Myth 3: You’ll get it if it’s in the family. Having a family member with diabetes doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll develop it too. Adopting healthy habits like regular exercise, balanced eating, and effective stress management can significantly lower your risk, even if genetics aren’t on your side.
Myth 4: the sugar misconception. Contrary to popular belief, people with diabetes can consume sugar, but it’s essential to be mindful of refined sugars. Instead, focus on natural sugars found in foods high in fibre, like bananas, mangoes, watermelon, oranges, and pineapples. Just consult a nutritionist or dietician to determine the right amounts for you.
Having prediabetes doesn’t automatically mean you’ll develop Type 2 diabetes. With lifestyle changes, such as adopting a healthy diet and exercise routine, prediabetes can often be managed or even reversed. A nutritionist can guide you in creating meal plans to support your journey towards a healthier you.
Myth 5: diabetes only affects those with a family history of the disease. The reality is that everyone is at risk of developing Type 1, Type 2, or gestational diabetes (which affects pregnant women). That’s why we must make intelligent choices, such as eating well and staying active, to protect our health.
Remember, knowledge is power when it comes to diabetes. So, let’s bust these myths, take charge of our well-being, and lead vibrant lives with diabetes under control.