Despite all the awareness campaigns about diabetes, it appears that knowledge levels about the condition is not up to the mark.
The Consumer Reports National Research Centre surveyed 1000 people to check their awareness about high blood sugar. The findings revealed that awareness about diabetes was poor in comparison to their knowledge about blood pressure and cholesterol.
Both men and women were found to be ignorant about risk factors, symptoms and complications related to Type 2 diabetes, though women were a shade better in their awareness about the condition.
What came out of the survey were some popular myths about diabetes which need to be dispelled.
The overriding opinion of most was that only overweight or obese people could develop diabetes. In actuality, though obesity is a risk factor for diabetes, thin people can also become diabetic especially if they are genetically predisposed to the condition. Age can also trigger diabetes in some people.
Further, people thought that consuming too much sugar caused diabetes. Constantly gorging on sweets can increase the risk of diabetes only in those who are genetically predisposed to the condition. Sweet eating has no direct connection with triggering diabetes.
"If one has high blood sugar, then the symptoms are so obvious", was another popular myth. Mildly elevated blood sugar does not portray any symptoms. In some cases the symptoms are so slight that one can easily overlook them.
Sedentary lifestyle coupled with a family history of the condition is an important risk factor, therefore it is imperative for such people to check their blood sugar levels every three years or more often especially if symptoms show up.
Some of the most common symptoms of high blood sugar levels are tiredness, increased hunger, sores that take long to heal, and/or frequent urination at nights.
High blood sugar must be checked and treated as it can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke as well as bring on other health complications such as kidney damage and even blindness.