4 Sticky Myths About Diabetes Debunked

Portrait of Human

April 13th, 2020· 5 min read

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Diabetes does not have to mean the end of normalcy. There are a lot of myths about diabetes that are swirling around, and I am here to debunk those myths!

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic disease that attacks your metabolism by escalation of your blood sugar (glucose) level. Blood sugar comes from the food that we eat, and it is also the primary source of our energy. This disease can eventually lead to a severe case of heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerve damage [1] [2].

There are two types of diabetes [3]:

Type 1 diabetes

Even though this type of diabetes can occur to people of any age, type 1 diabetes occurs most frequently in children and adolescents. This disease occurs because your body produces either a small or no amount of insulin.

Insulin is a hormone that is produced by your pancreas. This hormone helps the glucose to pass through your body and create energy. Since your body is not producing enough insulin, patients with type 1 diabetes have to take an insulin injection daily.

Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is more common amongst adults compared to children or adolescents. 90% of diabetes also type 2 diabetes. The difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes is that in type 2, your body produces a normal amount of insulin, but your body cannot make good use of insulin.

Gestational diabetes (GDM)

Gestational diabetes is a condition where a woman who has no diabetes develops diabetes during pregnancy that can give both the mother and child complications. GDM usually disappears after pregnancy, but the child may develop type 2 diabetes later in life.

Myth 1: Diabetes caused by overeating sugar

Indirectly, yes. However, overeating sugar contributes more to obesity compared to type 2 diabetes. That being said, you can still take sugar if you have diabetes. You just have to have a balanced diet. If you are craving for sugar, it is best to get it from fruits instead of processed sugar. [4]

Myth 2: Being overweight causes type 2 diabetes

While being overweight indeed increases the risk of getting diabetes, you can also get type 2 diabetes if you are older than 45 years old.

Instead of being overweight, the common cause of type 2 diabetes is obesity. You are considered obese if your body mass index (BMI) is 30 or over. [5]

Myth 3: Diabetes is contagious

If by 'contagious', means from sex or other exchange of fluids, then the answer is 'absolutely not'. Diabetes is not contagious, unlike the Cold or Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STIs).

Myth 4: Exercising is harmful to patients with diabetes

No. Exercise is very beneficial for patients with diabetes. Some of the benefits of exercise are:

  • Exercise boosts your fitness
  • Exercise manages your weight

Just don't forget to check your blood sugar before you start exercising, especially if you were not used to exercising before.

Now that these 4 myths are debunked do not be afraid to exercise and eat the food that you like in moderation!

Dr Cheng Shin Chuen is a General Surgeon with a sub-speciality in Vascular and Endovascular procedures. He is the clinical director at Cheng SC Vein & Endovascular Clinic.

Dr Cheng graduated from the University of New South Wales and then completed his training in General Surgery in Singapore. Following that, he did his Endovascular fellowship at Price of Wales Hospital, Sydney as a Senior Clinical Fellow in 2007.

I hope that you've found this guide useful, and perhaps gained more insight into the application process. Most of the admissions-related information (admin and logistics wise) can be found on the official NUS Faculty of Dentistry website.

To help yourself out, you should take note of what people look for when they look for a dentist.

This article was written by Human and published on Wednesday, 25 January 2017. Human medically reviewed the article on Wednesday, 25 January 2017. The last update was made on Friday, 18 September 2020.

Disclaimer: Opinions belong to the author and not to the platform.

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