Three myths that diabetics (and everyone) should know
If you’re Jamaican, you’ve probably heard people refer to the chronic medical condition diabetes as “sugar”.
But what is it?
Diabetes is a condition in which the body does not properly process food for use as energy.
In the body, the pancreas produces a hormone called insulin to help glucose enter the cells of the human body. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use its own insulin as well as it should.
According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare, this causes sugar to build up in the blood, which is why many people call diabetes “sugar”.
Diabetes affects all age groups. In fact, based on the Jamaica Health and Lifestyle Survey (2016-2017), the overall prevalence of diabetes among people over the age of 15 was 12%.
Young poet Ngozi Wright presents a diabetes awareness poem in November 2021 (Video: Ministry of Health and Welfare)
For this #WellnessWednesday and in recognition of Diabetes Awareness Month (November), Loop Lifestyle shares three myths about the condition that diabetics (and everyone) should know:
- Myth: People with diabetes should not eat or drink anything with sugar.
Fact: This is not true. Sugar and starch are sources of energy that are needed by everyone, including people with diabetes, in their daily diet. People with diabetes should eat a healthy, balanced diet that may include moderate amounts of sugar and starch.
2. Myth: Only adults can get type 2 diabetes.
Fact: Although it is true that people can develop type 2 diabetes as they age, in recent years more and more children and adolescents are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes due to the increase in overweight and obesity, unhealthy eating habits and reduced physical activity during this period. age group.
3. Myth: If you are already at risk of developing diabetes, there is nothing you can do to prevent it.
Fact: Lifestyle changes – healthy eating, increased physical activity, maintaining a healthy body weight, regular checkups – can delay or prevent the development of type 2 diabetes in people who have risk factors. This is also true for people with pre-diabetes.
Source: Ministry of Health and Welfare