As with so many other diseases there are many common myths about Diabetes. This is mostly due to incorrect information being distributed and general ignorance about the disease and its three different types.
Let’s look at some of the common myths surrounding Diabetes and see if we can clear up some of the misinformation.
Myth 1: Diabetes is a death sentence. This is not true at all. Diabetes can be effectively managed with the right medical help and patient dedication. Don’t just accept that you are going to suffer the worst possible outcomes, work hard to change your lifestyle and you will reap the benefits.
Myth 2: If you are overweight you will get Diabetes. Not true. Obviously being overweight and living a sedentary lifestyle is a huge risk factor, but there are other factors that also play a role and obesity is not a guarantee of getting this disease.
Myth 3: If you have Diabetes you are not allowed to exercise too much because it will cause a low blood sugar attack. Not true. If you are on Insulin therapy you will need to maintain a balance between exercise, diet, and Insulin. But many Type 2 diabetics are not on Insulin and the other oral medications such as Metformin and Sitagliptin don’t cause low blood sugar at all. In fact exercise and weight loss are crucial components to managing Diabetes effectively.
Myth 4: Insulin is bad for you. Not true, Insulin is a lifesaver, but it is also complicated to manage it correctly for many people. When you are using Insulin it is crucial to test your blood sugar regularly during the day in order to avoid or correct imbalances.
Myth 5: Diabetes means I have to inject myself! Not necessarily true; only people who have been prescribed injectable medications need to deal with needles, but today there are Insulin pens that don’t require injection and oral medications too.
Myth 6: Eating too much sugar causes Diabetes. Not true; Sugar does not cause Diabetes, but overconsumption does increase your risk of developing Diabetes. And while sugar does contribute to obesity, which is a major cause of Diabetes, eating junk food and an unhealthy lifestyle are also major contributors.
Myth 7: Diabetics can’t eat sweets. Not necessarily true; Diabetics can have sugar but they need to control their portions and monitor their blood sugar levels. So cake and dessert is okay, just in limited amounts.
Myth 8: You are more likely to get colds or the flu if you have diabetes. Diabetes does not make you more vulnerable to contagious illnesses. However, you should get your flu shots, because diabetics are more likely to suffer serious complications from the flu.
There are many more myths about Diabetes but as we have said before, the more informed you are, the better you will be able to understand Diabetes and support family and friends who suffer from this disease. Remember that they need encouragement and motivation to stay focussed and manage their disease effectively and they will be better able to do this if more people around them understood exactly what it is they’re dealing with.
So educate yourself and those around you properly and help put a stop to myths about Diabetes and stigmas attached to the disease.