There are a lot of misconceptions out there about diabetes. Who gets it? Who’s at risk? Podiatrists Megan L. Oltmann, DPM and Craig B. Frey, DPM of Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland are closing out Diabetes Awareness Month by focusing this blog on clearing up some myths about the disease.
Myth: Having diabetes is not a big deal
Type 1 diabetics don’t produce insulin, which means they must inject themselves daily and closely monitor blood sugar levels. Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes very often leads to damage in the rest of the body, especially if the disease isn’t well-controlled. Damage to eyes, kidneys, heart, blood vessels, and limbs, including the feet, are all common and well-documented. Uncontrolled diabetes can be life-threatening.
Myth: Only obese people get diabetes
Obesity is only one of the risk factors – other factors that put you in a higher-risk category include
- genetics – a family history
- race – people of Asian, African, and Native American descent
- activity level – having a sedentary lifestyle
- a history of high blood pressure
- an unbalanced, unhealthy diet
- higher than normal blood sugar levels (prediabetes)
Myth: Diabetics can only eat specially-prepared diabetic foods
A diet that’s healthy for everyone is also healthy for the diabetic. That means meals with proper portions of heart-healthy and fiber-rich vegetables, whole grains, legumes, lean meats, and fruit.
Myth: Diabetics can never eat dessert
Foods containing sugar can be a part of a balanced diet. It’s a matter of knowing what to switch out in favor of dessert; for example, skip the bread so you can have the pie.
Myth: Having somewhat high blood sugar is not a cause for worry
High levels of sugar in the blood that aren’t high enough to be called diabetes is known as prediabetes. Prediabetes is a warning sign that you will probably get diabetes. But it’s not inevitable. With some changes in diet and exercise routine, prediabetes can be reversed.
Our diabetic patients, who face many problems with their feet, would probably join us in stressing the importance of being educated about diabetes, and doing your best to avoid it. If you have diabetes or want more information about diabetes and your feet, call our Cuyahoga County office – in the beautiful Cleveland suburb of Solon, Ohio – at (440) 903-1041 or make an appointment online.