There are many myths about diabetes which can make separating fact from fiction difficult. To cut through the confusion, we have broken down some of the common misconceptions.
Myth: Diabetes is not serious
There are no such things as “mild” diabetes. All type of diabetes is serious and can lead to complications if not well managed. Diabetes can affect quality of life and can reduce life expectancy.
Myth: All types of diabetes are the same
There are a number of types of diabetes. The most common are type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes other form of diabetes are less common. Each type of diabetes has different causes and may be managed in different way but once someone has any type of diabetes except gestational diabetes, it needs to be managed every day. Gestational diabetes goes away after pregnancy; however it does significantly increase someone’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. All type of diabetes are complex and serious.
Myth: I will likely develop diabetes because I am overweight.
It is true that excess weight increases your chance of having diabetes. However, many people who are overweight or obese never develop diabetes. And people who are normal weight or only a little overweight do develop diabetes. Your best bet is to take steps to lower your risk by using nutritional changes and physical activity to lose excess weight.
Myth: I eat lot of sugar, so I am worried I will get diabetes.
Eating sugar does not cause diabetes. But you should still cut back on sweets and sugary beverages.
Myth: I have diabetes, so I can never eat sweets.
Sweets are full of simple sugars, which increase the amount of glucose in your blood more than other foods. But they are not off limits for people with diabetes, as long as you plan for them. It is best to save sweets for special occasions or as a treat. You can eat small amounts of sugar in place of other carbohydrates usually eaten at a meal. If you take insulin your provider may instruct you to take higher doses than normal when you do eat sweets.
Myth: It is not safe to exercise with diabetes
Getting regular exercise is an important part of managing diabetes. Exercise helps boost your body’s sensitivity to insulin. It can also help lower your A1C, a test that helps tell how well your diabetes is controlled.
Myth: I can stop taking diabetes medicines once my blood sugar is under control.
Some people with type 2 diabetes are unable to control their blood sugar without medicine by losing weight, eating a healthy diet, and getting regular exercise. But diabetes is a progressive disease, and over time, even if you are doing all you can to stay healthy, you may need medicine to keep your blood sugar within your target range.