Diabetes Myths: What Everyone Needs to Know

Diabetes is a complex condition, full of contradictions and misinformation. Many people when newly diagnosed with diabetes look for as much information as possible, from a variety of sources to help educate themselves about their condition. But how do you know that this information is reliable? At Diabetes Insight, we can help you to dispel some of the myths, mystery and confusion surrounding diabetes. Because this website is developed, managed, monitored and constantly supervised by a nurse specialised in diabetes with over ten years of experience, you can be guaranteed that the information you find here is reliable, factual and up to date. The following are some of the most common myths that Diabetes Insight comes across on a daily basis. If you have any that you would like to add to this list, or information that you have heard that you would like clarified, please contact us.

Myth: I Have a Touch of Diabetes…….My Diabetes is only Mild

[message_box type=”note” icon=”yes” close=”Close”]Fact: The message here is simple, you either have diabetes or you don’t. Anyone who has a ‘touch of’ diabetes, ‘mild’ diabetes or ‘borderline’ diabetes might as well be a ‘touch’ pregnant, there is no such thing. Words like these may have been used by both the public and health care professionals in the past to describe to patients the severity of their condition. But that does not mean your diabetes is less serious than another persons, because when left untreated or ignored, all types of diabetes will end up having the same complications. Know which type of diabetes that you have, ask your health care professional[/message_box]

Myth: Diabetes is Contagious

[message_box type=”note” icon=”yes” close=”Close”]Fact: Both Type 1 & Type 2 Diabetes are diseases of the metabolism and therefore are not contagious, you cannot contract diabetes by contact with a person with diabetes[/message_box]

Myth: There is no Diabetes in my Family, so I don’t have to worry

[message_box type=”note” icon=”yes” close=”Close”]Fact: Diabetes can be a genetic condition, but many people who are diagnosed with diabetes do not have any known family members to them who have diabetes. Poor lifestyle habits, as well as other factors, may increase the risk for developing Type 2 diabetes and certain viruses as well as other autoimmune issues are thought to be the cause of Type 1 Diabetes[/message_box]

Myth: There is only one dangerous type of Diabetes

[message_box type=”note” icon=”yes” close=”Close”]Fact: There is a common misconception, even amongest people with diabetes, that Type 1 Diabetes is worse than Type 2, or vice versa. Diabetes is a group of conditions, all of which require treatment and serious attention. While people with Type 1 Diabetes need to take insulin everyday for their condition, Type 2 is no less serious, because if ignored, can lead to complications such as blindness, heart attack and stroke[/message_box]

Myth: Only overweight people get diabetes

[message_box type=”note” icon=”yes” close=”Close”]Fact: Yes, being overweight/obese can increase your risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. But most people with Type 1 Diabetes are not overweight and it is not a risk factor for developing this particular type of diabetes. It is very unfair to label everyone with diabetes as overweight or obese, even the most slender of people can succumb to diabetes, whether it is Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes[/message_box]

Myth: People with Diabetes cannot eat anything sweet

[message_box type=”note” icon=”yes” close=”Close”]Fact: Having diabetes does not mean you have to follow a sugar free diet as this would be virtually impossible. People with diabetes should follow a healthy balanced diet, that is low is sugar, fat and salt. You should be able to enjoy a wide variety of foods, even sweet treats such as chocolate and cake can be eaten as part of a healthy meal plan, when combined with exercise[/message_box]

Myth: Eating too much sugar can cause diabetes

[message_box type=”note” icon=”yes” close=”Close”]Fact: Diabetes is caused by a variety of factors, so being a chocoholic does not mean you are destined to have diabetes.Being overweight by eating more food than the body requires and being physically inactive are more of a risk factor for developing Type 2 Diabetes[/message_box]

Myth: Type 2 Diabetes can turn into Type 1 Diabetes

[message_box type=”note” icon=”yes” close=”Close”]Fact: The type of diabetes that a person has does not change either with age or treatment. After a period of time and for a variety of reasons, people with Type 2 Diabetes may require insulin injections to control their diabetes adequately. It is a normal part of treatment and you remain as a person with Type 2 diabetes but insulin requiring. This is important, especially when meeting a health care professional for the first time, as knowing the difference can provide the health care profesional with extra vital information[/message_box]

Myth: People with diabetes must eat a special diet….diabetes labelled foods

[message_box type=”note” icon=”yes” close=”Close”]Fact: A diet for someone with diabetes is the exact same for someone who does not have diabetes, we should all be eating a healthy, balanced diet. This makes it ideal within a family household for everyone to follow a healthy diet and reduce the risk of developing diabetes. Diabetic labelled foods tend to be high in saturated fat and calories, as well as very expensive. As well as less pennys in your pocket, you will probably increase your cholesterol by eating these foods and there can be a nasty side effect of diarrhoea from the type of artifical sweeteners that they use. So if you want chocolate, go for the real thing, just eat less of it![/message_box]

Myth: People with diabetes will eventually go blind….be on dialysis….have amputations

[message_box type=”note” icon=”yes” close=”Close”]Fact: Although worldwide diabetes is the leading cause of blindness, if you control your blood sugar levels, cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as your weight, give up smoking and keep active you will significantly reduce your risk of complications of diabetes[/message_box]

Myth: Having diabetes means you cannot do certain jobs

[message_box type=”note” icon=”yes” close=”Close”]Fact:Having diabetes should not stop you from getting and keeping a job. However despite disability discrimation legislation in place, there are certain areas of employment including the armed forces that exclude people who have diabetes from taking up a job with them [/message_box]

Myth: Diabetes is ‘cured’ by bringing your blood glucose levels back to normal

[message_box type=”note” icon=”yes” close=”Close”]Fact: There is no known cure presently widely recognized for diabetes. Diabetes is a long term progressive condition that is managed rathered than cured. The aim of treatment is to try and get blood glucose levels as near to normal where possible to reduce the risks of long term complicatons. Many overweight people with diabetes can control their food intake and increase their physical activity to some extent where their diabetes ‘goes away’ but it is never cured, because if they return to their previous lifestyle, their diabetes will come back over time. People with diabetes need to be careful of any ‘fad diets’ that proclaim to reverse or cure diabetes & always seek medical advice before attempting any form of extreme dieting[/message_box]

Myth: If I don’t take diabetes medication, then my diabetes is not serious

[message_box type=”note” icon=”yes” close=”Close”]Not everyone who has diabetes needs to take medication to treat their condition. That does not mean you can ignore your diabetes. Diabetes is a progressive condition and will change over time, so medication maybe likely in the long term[/message_box]

Myth: People who have diabetes cannot drive

[message_box type=”note” icon=”yes” close=”Close”]Fact: People with diabetes can drive. In fact they are no less safe on the roads than anyone else who does not have diabetes providing they are responsible and have good control of their diabetes [/message_box]

Myth: Diabetes only affects people in old age

[message_box type=”note” icon=”yes” close=”Close”] Fact: While this have appeared the case some years ago, because of todays sedentary lifestyle and diets heavily reliant on refined carbohydrates, has seen Type 2 diabetes occur in all ages. Over the age of 40 does increase your risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes as well as other risk factors. Many people think that because their parent got Type 2 diabetes in old age, that it is not significant in their risk for developing diabetes. That is simply not true. Having a parent develop Type 2 diabetes at any age, can increase your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by up to 50%[/message_box]

Myth: People with diabetes cannot or should not exercise

[message_box type=”note” icon=”yes” close=”Close”]Fact: Exercise is recognized as the cornerstone to diabetes care, as it helps people with diabetes make better use of their insulin and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Before any person with diabetes commences exercise, special considerations need to be taken into account, so always discuss with your health care provider before embarking on any exercise regieme.[/message_box]

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