Asistel in English
Myths and facts about diabetes
Many Latinos in the United States believe common myths about diabetes. Some believe that it can be caused by an emotional shock, a fright or the trauma of immigration. Experts say these factors do not directly cause diabetes, but it is possible that they can harm one’s general health and, if someone has the disease without knowing it, it could make the illness apparent.
Some Latinos believe that diabetics have to stop eating all their favorite foods. In fact, after consulting a doctor or dietician, diabetics can establish a dietary plan that includes foods that they like to eat in a way that supports control of their blood glucose levels.
Among the popular Latino remedies for diabetes, only one – Nopales -- is supported by scientific evidence. However, no matter how healthful the cactus leaves are, they cannot take the place of vigilant medial attention, glucose monitoring, regular exercise, a good diet and prescription medicine.
Many Latinos have heard that insulin can be harmful. However, without this substance, which is produced by the body, Type 1 diabetics lose consciousness, fall into a coma and die. The blindness that some suffer is the result of not controlling diabetes; it is not caused by insulin.
Another common belief is that diabetics cannot do hard work. It is true that, if the blood sugar level is not controlled, a diabetic will feel tired and weak. But diabetics who take good care of themselves can work just fine.
Lastly, the many Latinos believe diabetes can be cured. In fact, there is no known cure for the disease, but with good care and medical vigilance, the disease can be controlled and diabetics can live a normal life.
This information is meant only to educate and inform. Do not take or discontinue any action based on this information. It is important to consult your doctor.