Diabetes Misconceptions

735 Words 3 Pages
In December of 2015 an average of 8.1% of Texans had prediabetes and 11.0% had diabetes,

there were approximately 5,260 deaths caused by diabetes in the state of Texas, and Medicaid

spent more than $280 million on patients with diabetes (Texas Department of State Health

Services). Why are these numbers so high? There are common misconceptions relating to

diabetes and diabetic care, and many people have false beliefs in this disease and medical care,

even those who have the disease. A study was funded by the National Institute on Aging and the

Center for the Study of Health Beliefs and Behavior. The study interviewed patients who had

long-standing diabetes, meaning that they had had diabetes for an average of 13 years and were

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Fifty-six percent of the participants believed that

their blood glucose was too high only when it was >200 mg/dl. (Normal blood glucose for a

person without diabetes is <100 mg/dl upon awakening, and >140 mg/dl two hours after meals

(Diabetes Self-Management)) Also, twenty-three percent believed that they did not have to take

their medication if their blood glucose levels were normal that day (ADA Diabetes Care).

Many people and diabetic patients believe that their diabetes does not have severe adverse effects

on their overall health. This is a dangerous misconception. When someone has type 1 diabetes

their body stops producing insulin, which is what regulates blood sugar in the body. With type 2

diabetes their body doesn’t properly use insulin that is made in the body. Without controlling

these issues people with either type of diabetes commonly experience hypertension, which is

high blood pressure, a higher risk of stroke, cardiovascular disease, impaired memory, high

cholesterol, increased heart rate, retinopathy, which is damage to the eye, neuropathy, which is

numbness, tingling, or weakness in the limbs, and kidney failure among the worst of the effects

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No matter which type of diabetes a person has, if they neglect to treat

themselves they will suffer the adverse effects of uncontrolled diabetes, which will land them in

the emergency room. For every 1,000 people hospitalized with diabetes, 27 had preventable

hospitalizations due to neglecting their treatment (ADA Diabetes Care). What do these patients

see when they go into a hospital? Of course they are regularly screened for diabetes when they

are admitted, but they also screen the patient for smoking and educate them on smoking

cessation. Why are patients not nearly as educated on the risks of their diets and lifestyles as they

are about smoking? Also in school children are warned against the dangers of drugs and alcohol,

which is certainly incredibly important, but why aren’t they also thoroughly educated on their

diets and exercise? Is that why we’ve seen an increase in childhood diabetes? In the next 40

years the number of youth with type 1 diabetes is expected to increase by forty-nine

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