Diabetes is one of the most common chronic health conditions in the United States, affecting about 9 percent of adults. While most people know someone with diabetes, stereotypes and myths about the disease are still widespread. Here are some common myths about diabetes that deserve correction.
Myth: Diabetes Isn’t Serious
Diabetes is a chronic condition that can be addressed and controlled. Despite this, it kills more people than AIDS and breast cancer combined. More than 60 percent of people with diabetes die due to stroke or heart disease.
Addressing symptoms and treatment for diabetes can become increasingly challenging with age. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to address if their families opt for professional senior care. You can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while aging in place.
Myth: People with Diabetes Can’t Have Sweet Treats
Having diabetes does require monitoring blood sugar levels, but there’s no reason someone with diabetes can’t eat sugary treats occasionally. Diabetics can safely eat anything they like, as long as it’s done in moderation.
Myth: Eating Too Much Sugar Causes Diabetes
Being overweight is a risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes, and heavy consumption of sugary drinks is also linked to the disease. However, diabetes is a complex disease with many risk factors. Type 1 diabetes is caused by genetics and potentially unknown factors, while type 2 diabetes can be caused by many lifestyle factors as well as genetics.
Myth: Diabetics Need to Eat Special Foods
Diabetics are encouraged to stick with the same healthy diet as anyone else: limiting sugar and salt and focusing on eating lean protein, non-starchy vegetables, and whole grains. In most cases, special “diabetic” foods have no unique value.
If your senior loved one is diabetic and needs help with planning and preparing healthy meals, a home caregiver can be a fantastic source of support. Whether your elderly loved one needs part-time assistance with basic household chores or you need a break from your caregiving duties, the Jefferson County respite care experts at Home Care Assistance are here to help. All of our respite care services are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts.
Myth: People Who Don’t Manage Their Diabetes End Up on Insulin
About a quarter of people with type 2 diabetes eventually require insulin. This isn’t because they did anything wrong or failed to address the disease. It’s simply that the disease has progressed to the point where insulin-producing cells are no longer working properly.
Myth: It’s Possible to Be Just a “Little” Diabetic
The truth is there’s no such thing as being just “a bit” diabetic. Someone who has diabetes must address his or her condition or face the risk of potentially serious complications.
Myth: The Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes Are Easy to Recognize
While type 1 diabetes usually has an abrupt and dramatic onset, type 2 diabetes comes on slowly for most people. Symptoms such as increased urination, fatigue, and blurred vision are often written off at first. Many people also remain in the prediabetic stage for years with only slightly elevated blood sugar levels.
Myth: Everyone Experiences Diabetes the Same Way
Type 2 diabetes can have a range of symptoms, dietary requirements, and reactions that vary from person to person. Some people handle their diabetes with diet and exercise and have very few symptoms, while others have no symptoms at all until they experience devastating complications.
Myth: Exercise Can’t Help with Diabetes Symptoms
Exercise is an important component of addressing the symptoms of type 2 diabetes. This is because exercise burns glucose (sugar) and makes cells more sensitive to insulin. In fact, a recent study found exercise may be more effective than drugs when it comes to handling the disease.
Chronic diseases such as diabetes can be more challenging with age as tasks such as grocery shopping, cooking, and exercising become increasingly difficult to do without help. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of at-home care. Jefferson County families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. Call us today at (303) 987-5992 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.