Diabetes type 2 afflicts millions, but many are in denial, according to a report from Michigan State University.
Has your healthcare provider ever told you that you are at high risk for developing type 2, or discussed the following?
- You need to make dietary changes, such as watching your sugar, carbs or your fat intake.
- You are at a higher risk for diabetes because of your age, weight, family history, race, gestational pregnancy, blood pressure or cholesterol problems.
- That you are pre-diabetic.
- That you are a borderline diabetic
These target messages from the healthcare team should be enough to motivate us to take action to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. Ironically for whatever the reasons, many individuals go into an automatic state of denial when it comes to diabetes. Being in denial is most commonly linked to something unpleasant. According to Merriam’s Webster’s Dictionary, being in-denial means – ‘refusing to admit the truth or reality of something unpleasant.’
Common myths surrounding type 2 diabetes:
- Having type 2 diabetes is no big deal – In reality, the disease can be devastating and it can kill you if you don’t take steps to manage it quickly.
- I don’t need to take medication therefore I’m not a diabetic – You currently manage you blood glucose level through diet, weight management & physical activity but, the longer someone has type 2 diabetes, the more likely they will require insulin.
- I don’t have to be concerned about my diabetes today – Many complications of type 2 diabetes (heart disease, neuropathy, vision problems) develop slowly over time when high glucose in the blood has taken its toll on organs.
- I don’t feel symptomatic – For some there may not be a slew of symptoms, sudden complications or physical changes. Unbalanced or unmonitored blood glucose threatens us physically every day. Continuing to make use of unhealthy lifestyles (a high fat diet and lack of physical activity) doesn’t bring you closer to managing the disease.
- Lack of education towards complete and direct steps in fighting the disease.
- Unable to break cultural behaviors linked to diabetes.
Understandably, the more we know about diabetes the better we can prevent or prolong complications. Taking the denial out of your diagnosis or risk is the first step in controlling a healthier future!
There is ‘undeniably’ good news!
Diabetes can be treated and managed by healthful eating, regular physical activity, and medications to lower blood glucose levels. Another critical part of diabetes management is reducing cardiovascular disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure, high lipid levels, and tobacco use. Patient education and self-care practices also are important aspects of disease management that help people with diabetes stay healthy. Diabetes can be treated and managed by healthful eating, regular physical activity, and medications to.
Your healthcare team is the best equipped to help guide you through early treatment and the management of diabetes. For more information visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention webpage or this article by Michigan State University Extension MSU Extension awarded full recognition for diabetes prevention education.