Diabetes mellitus is characterized by high blood glucose levels, known as hyperglycemia. This occurs when there is either inadequate action or insufficient insulin production, the hormone responsible for regulating blood glucose levels. 

There are two primary forms of diabetes: 

  • Type 1 diabetes is characterized by a progressive reduction in pancreatic beta cells, which are responsible for releasing insulin. Individuals with type 1 diabetes experience hyperglycemia that can lead to ketoacidosis.
  • Type 2 diabetes develops over a period of several years and accounts for the majority of diabetes cases. It involves a phase of insulin resistance, where the body becomes less responsive to the effects of insulin, followed by a deficit in insulin secretion. Predisposing factors for type 2 diabetes include:
    •  a family history of the condition
    • excess weight
    • low levels of physical activity
    • Previous diagnosis of gestational diabetes mellitus (diabetes that occurs during pregnancy). 

Despite these facts, there are also several false myths surrounding diabetes. 

The blood glucose level can be accurately determined solely based on bodily sensations

FALSE. Symptoms associated with hyperglycemia (high blood glucose) or hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) can vary from person to person, although individuals may experience similar symptoms consistently. In cases of discomfort, it is crucial to maintain regular glycemic control at home.

Type 2 diabetes can be prevented through diet

TRUTH. Type 2 diabetes is frequently linked to factors such as excess weight, an unhealthy diet, and inadequate physical activity. By making lifestyle changes and correcting poor habits, it is possible to prevent the onset of the disease and even manage it through dietary adjustments.

In the case of type 1 diabetes, it is possible to go without insulin

FALSE. Type 1 diabetes mellitus occurs when there is a decrease or complete absence of insulin secretion by the pancreas. For individuals with this type of diabetes, it is essential to receive insulin treatment to manage their condition. Failure to administer insulin can be hazardous and potentially life-threatening.

Natural remedies are more effective than drugs

FALSE. If a diabetes specialist determines that drug therapy is necessary, it cannot be substituted with combinations of natural products.

Chickpeas may help in preventing diabetes

TRUE. Consuming chickpeas and other legumes rich in complex carbohydrates, plant protein, and fiber can assist in reducing post-meal spikes in blood glucose levels and subsequent hyperinsulinemia.

Diabetes: Protein is better than carbohydrates

FALSE. A balanced diet is crucial in the treatment of diabetes. It should include an appropriate intake of carbohydrates, preferably complex and with a low glycemic index. Legumes, whole-grain pasta, and bread are good options.