Editor’s note: Diabetes Alert Day on March 26 serves as a wakeup call to the seriousness of diabetes and the importance of assessing your risk.
Test your knowledge of diabetes with this True/False quiz:
1. Type 2 diabetes is caused by eating too much sugar.
False. A high-calorie diet, including calories from sugar, causes weight gain. Excess weight increases your risk of Type 2 diabetes. Causes of Type 1 diabetes include inherited risk factors.
2. Insulin cures diabetes.
False. Diabetes has no cure. Insulin can help control diabetes by keeping blood sugar levels in check.
3. Losing weight can help people with diabetes.
True. A loss of as little as 7 percent of your body weight — less than 13 pounds for someone who weights 180 — through diet and exercise can help reduce symptoms.
4. People with diabetes don’t have to follow a special diet.
True. People with diabetes should stick to the same healthful diet that works for everyone, with plenty of fruits, whole grains and vegetables.
5. Soda and other drinks loaded with sugar can contribute to Type 2 diabetes.
True. These drinks raise blood sugar. A 12-ounce can has 40 grams of carbohydrate — the same amount in 10 teaspoons of sugar. “These sugary drinks contribute, along with poor lifestyle, to the development of diabetes because they add to your weight,” says Dr. Manmeet Kaur, a Hartford HealthCare Medical Group endocrinologist.
6. People with diabetes can’t eat sweets or chocolate.
False. You can still indulge a sweet tooth if you have diabetes as long as the sweets are an occasional treat, small portions only and part of a healthful diet.
7. Everyone with diabetes takes medication for the disease.
False. If your body produces insulin, it might be enough control diabetes with a combination of weight loss, regular exercise and a healthful diet.
8. Diabetes causes more deaths in a year than breast cancer and AIDS combined.
True. Diabetes also doubles your risk of a heart attack.
9. If it’s not part of my family history, I don’t have to worry about diabetes.
False. Family history a risk factor for Type 2 diabetes, but not the only one. Excess weight, a sedentary lifestyle, age and race (African American, Hispanic and Asian American, among others), high blood pressure and abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels are among the other risk factors.
10. Drinking water can reduce high blood sugar levels.
False. Drinking water won’t help. But a healthful diet, regular exercise and taking any prescribed medications can help control diabetes.
To learn more about endocrinology and diabetes services at Hartford HealthCare, click here.