Diabetes mellitus is also commonly known as sugar diabetes to differentiate it from another
kind of diabetes known as diabetes insipidus.
It is a disease condition affecting a person’s ability to properly process and use carbohydrates. This condition results from total or relative lack of insulin.
Insulin is a hormone your body produces which helps to regulate the amount of sugar in
Like any other common disease conditions, a lot of misconceptions and half-truths have been
circulated about diabetes.
These usually result from people who combine a bit of medical
knowledge with traditional medicine in an attempt to unravel the truth about diabetes.
If you’ve been searching on the web or you’ve been listening to health talks on the subject of
diabetes, you will probably know a few correct facts about the disease.
In this article, you will learn 5 facts that you probably never understood about diabetes.
Diabetes Is Not Caused By Table Sugar
You read me correctly! Diabetes is not caused by consumption of table sugar. Table sugar is the
grained or cubed sugar commonly used to sweeten our daily foods.
Given that diabetes is caused by inability to regulate sugar in the blood, many people assume that it must be excess
intake of table sugar that is to blame.
This is not so. In fact, you can still come down with diabetes even if no grain of table sugar has touched your tongue since your birth.
No doubt, excess intake of refined foods, sweetened drinks and even table sugar are not good
for your health.
However, they are not the cause of diabetes. So if you’ve been diagnosed of
diabetes, don’t think you’re the person who consumes the most sugar in your district.
Not quite. Also, cutting down on sugary foods has its health benefits, but it won’t necessarily stop
you from having diabetes.
The Sugar In Your Blood Comes From Several Sources
Most people think for something to contain sugar, it must taste sweet. This is not correct. The
truth is that the sugar found in your blood comes from several sources.
Also, sugar exists in many forms. However, all forms of sugar come from the class of food called carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates include yam, cassava, grains like corn, and so on.
When carbohydrates are digested, they are broken down into the smallest forms of sugar.
Among these forms is glucose.
The sweet table sugar we consume is known as sucrose and is just one form of sugar. Of course, like other forms of sugar, sucrose also contributes to your blood sugar.
However, the amount you consume in the pure form is not likely to be significant
enough to cause you diabetes.
Notice that the emphasis here is on cause. If you already have diabetes, it means your sugar
control mechanism is already faulty.
Consumption of sugary foods and drinks will definitely raise your blood sugar. However, if you don’t have diabetes, their effects will be marginal.
Underlying Factors Rather Than Mere Sugar Intake Cause Diabetes .
What then causes diabetes if not sugar intake? If you have diabetes, your body is failing to regulate your blood sugar. This failure does not mean your sugar intake is higher than others in the community.
However, it means that you have some underlying risk factors that make your
body more likely to fail in managing blood sugar.
Before we look at the risk factors. You need to understand how diabetes happens. Insulin is a
hormone in your body which converts excess glucose to glycogen for storage in your liver and
This ensures that only the normal amount of sugar remains in your blood no matter
how much you’ve taken.
People who have diabetes have a deficiency in this process. Usually, it
is because they don’t have insulin any more at all or their insulin is not effective enough.
In type 1 diabetes, the cells that produce your insulin are destroyed.
So you don’t produce enough insulin. In type 2, your body is producing insulin but it’s activity is not optimal. This can
happen if you’re obese and the excess fat drowns the insulin receptors to which insulin must
bind before working.
See? It’s not about the intake of sugar, but what happens after the intake.
Now, if you answer yes to these tests, your chances are higher than those who answer no. Does
any parent or sibling of yours have diabetes? Are you obese or overweight? Are you pregnant?
Do you live a physically inactive life? These factors make you stand the risk of having diabetes,
and by the time you’re having a problem with sugar control, the process has already begun.
You May Have Diabetes Without Knowing
Not everyone who has diabetes develops from day one the classic symptoms of weight loss,
drinking plenty water and urinating plenty.
Some will have no symptoms until complications set in. There are different complications of diabetes. Sometimes, a person who is seeing a doctor complains of what turns out to be a complication of diabetes.
Some people with diabetes were diagnosed this way.
The problem with this is that if Diabetes is diagnosed early and controlled properly,
complications can be delayed or even avoided.
However, when complications set in, they may not be reversed even after the blood sugar is controlled.
Diabetes Has No Known Cure
Contrary to a few claims by traditional medicine practitioners, diabetes mellitus has no known
cure in conventional medicine.
However, medications exist with which to control it and manage
The best approach is one that detects the disease early and controls the
blood sugar consistently, thereby preventing the onset of complications.
If you have any of the risk factors outlined above and you’re 40 years or older, you need to
routinely monitor your blood sugar.
You can raise this with your doctor at your next clinic visit and start from there. If you’ve already been diagnosed of diabetes, be regular on your medications and diet in order to control the disease and retard the onset of complications.