diabetes myths
Diabetes Myths: Seperating Fact from Fiction

With diabetes on a steady incline globally, knowing the facts is essential. Here are five common diabetes myths and how to take charge of your health.

Eating too much sugar causes diabetes

Although this myth is false, there are some complexities surrounding the matter. Eating too much sugar doesn’t cause diabetes directly. However, a diet consisting mainly of sugar can lead to excess weight and obesity, which are risk factors for type 2 diabetes. 

Prediabetes will always lead to diabetes

Prediabetes occurs in about one out of every three adults in the United States and means that your blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be considered diabetes yet.

Prediabetes can put you at risk of type 2 diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Luckily, proper diet changes and staying active can help prevent that from happening.

Being overweight causes diabetes

This is false. While being overweight puts you at risk of developing diabetes, it doesn’t always lead to the condition. Other diabetes risk factors include family history, age, race, lack of physical activity, and being diagnosed as prediabetic or previously having gestational diabetes. 

It’s not safe to exercise when you have diabetes

Regular exercise plays a key role in regulating blood sugar levels and therefore managing diabetes. Physical activity also helps lower your risk of diabetes-related complications, such as heart disease and nerve damage. The American Diabetes Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise per week. 

Our endocrinologists advise patients to keep the following recommendations in mind:

  • Always talk to your doctor before starting a new workout regime.
  • Prevent dehydration by drinking plenty of fluids.
  • Always check your blood sugar before and after being physically active, especially if you take insulin. You may need to adjust your dosage based on how your body reacts to exercise. 

I’ll know if I have diabetes

In a recent 2020 CDC report, 7.2 million adults who met laboratory criteria for diabetes were not aware of or did not report having diabetes.

Some diabetes symptoms can be hard to spot, take years to develop, or only appear when blood sugar levels are extremely high. Symptoms such as consistent hunger, thirst, blurred vision, and frequent urination should not be ignored. Routine wellness exams are critical in detecting diabetes early and preventing any long-term complications.

Endocrinologists in Austin, TX

If you’d like to learn more about our full range of endocrine services, please call Texas Diabetes and Endocrinology at (512) 458-8400 or request an appointment online

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insulin pump
Should I Get an Insulin Pump?

If you’re living with diabetes, you know that managing your blood sugar levels can be a challenge and a chore, especially if you are taking multiple insulin injections a day. If you are ready to consider switching to an insulin pump, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons and remember, the choice is up to you.

An insulin pump is a small, computerized device that you wear to deliver insulin automatically – either in small continuous doses or close to mealtime. In this blog, we’re sharing some insights from endocrinologist Dr. Tira Chaicha-Brom about the benefits of insulin pumps and what to consider prior to use.

Benefits and Types of Insulin Pumps

There are many different insulin pumps available on the market. Patch pumps have no electronic component and do not have a feature for automatically adjusting the insulin delivery – you must manually press a button to deliver the insulin. However, Dr. Chaicha-Brom says they tend to be more discrete and are convenient for patients who do not want to carry the insulin pens and needles around. 

If you are comfortable using technology and are already using multiple daily injections, you can consider a closed loop pump. With a closed loop pump, there is a level of manual skill needed to manage the pump, as well as a need to be able to read a screen. As a safety benefit, the closed loop pumps will suspend the delivery of insulin if your blood sugars are trending low or give more insulin if your blood sugars are too elevated. This adjustable insulin delivery can improve consistent blood sugar levels while offering flexibility for patients. Closed loop pumps also deliver bolus insulin with meals, which requires patients to enter information and push a button to deliver the insulin. 

Insulin Pump Considerations

Insulin pumps are not permanent, but if you decide to get an insulin pump, you will always be required to wear the device. While some types of pumps can be placed discretely on the body, it is often difficult to conceal it, especially if it has a cord or tube for the insulin to flow through. 

“Patients need to consider that they will have a device attached to their skin at all times,” emphasizes Dr. Chaicha-Brom. “Most patients should be on a sensor as well, so that typically means having two devices to manage.”

Dr. Chaicha-Brom also explains that carb counting is a major component of using an insulin pump. The amount of insulin you need is calculated by entering how many carbs you are consuming along with your current blood sugar. 

“Prior to starting on a pump, patients should have a solid understanding of carb counting. If you do not already know how to count carbs, it is recommended that you meet with a registered dietician for training.” 

Cost is another factor to consider. In addition to the cost of the pump itself, you will need to purchase supplies that are changed several times a week. In short, insulin pumps are more expensive than injections. 

Finally, it’s important to remember that an insulin pump is not something you can get and then forget about. You will need to engage with the pump regularly throughout the day and continue to check your blood glucose.

An insulin pump can be a great way to help you manage your diabetes while increasing your flexibility and freedom. If you’re interested in getting an insulin pump, talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits to decide if it is right for you.

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