The Most Common Diabetes Myths – Greatest Myths About Diabetes

Posted February 19, 2020 by Clint Kelly - See Editorial Guidelines

One of the most significant problems that I believe causes so many diabetes myths is that the type of diabetes being discussed is not specified. There are a wide variety of differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. So much so, that some people believe the two types should have different names for clarity.

The differences between the types of diabetes and the lack of specific details on the internet, common misconceptions about diabetes are tossed around. This misinformation leads to myths about diabetes.

So, in this article, we’ll discuss diabetes myths and facts to clear things up. Here are the most common diabetes myths explained.

People With Diabetes Can’t Eat Sugar

Diabetes myths

As a type 1 diabetic, I have countless people ask, “Can you eat that?” This statement is more common than you may think, and it could not be falser.

A person with diabetes, type 1 or type 2, can eat whatever they want. Now, eating whatever you want is not the healthiest decision, but just because something has sugar in it does not mean it can’t be consumed.

Individuals with diabetes need to look mostly at the quantity of food more than the quality of food. Those with diabetes can still consume poor quality food, such as ice cream, but should limit the amount that they consume.

Now, is it better for people with diabetes to consume high-quality food most of the time? Yes, absolutely. We are not suggesting that you completely disregard the quality of food that you consume, as that plays a large part in your health as well.

However, as far as monitoring and controlling your blood sugar, the quantity of food consumed is what needs to be considered.

One Type of Diabetes is Better Than the Other

I have had multiple people respond to me after hearing I was a type 1 diabetic by asking, “Is that the good kind?”

The fact that this is one of the most common diabetes myths is incredible. There is no good kind of diabetes. The treatment for each type of diabetes differs greatly, but that does not make one more severe than the other.

Both types of diabetes can lead to more severe health conditions that can hospitalize you if your blood sugar is not controlled. Both types need to be monitored carefully and require regular visits to your physician to ensure proper care of your health.

Some would say that type 2 diabetes is the “good” kind simply because it can be treated with a medication taken by mouth. On the other hand, type 1 diabetes needs farther treatment with insulin injections and needs to be monitored more closely. However, both types can be severe depending on the individual and how well they manage their diabetes.

No One in My Family Has Diabetes So I Won’t Get It

This is a common diabetes myth, especially when it comes to type 1. Though those with a family history of type 1 diabetes are at a greater risk, this remains a myth.

There is no history of type 1 diabetes in my family, and yet I was diagnosed at 18. The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is not known. However, there appears to be research backing up environmental factors and previous health conditions linking to type 1.

Those that have a family history of type 2 diabetes may also be at an increased risk. But those without any family history can still develop the condition. Lifestyle choices and health conditions are serious factors that can put you at a greater risk for this condition.

Only Children Can Develop Type 1 Diabetes

Though type 1 diabetes can also be called juvenile diabetes, this statement still remains a myth about diabetes. Again, I was diagnosed with this illness at 18 years old. I have met others with type 1 that weren’t diagnosed until they were in their twenty’s.

Most diagnoses of this condition do occur in children or young adolescents, but someone can develop this condition later in life as well. The exact reasoning behind this is still unclear to many.

You Can Cure Your Diabetes By Eating Better

This myth about diabetes is primarily due to there not being a clarification of which type of diabetes we are talking about. Diet and exercise can aid significantly in treatment for type 2 diabetes. If the individual is disciplined and follows a very strict regime, then they may even be taken off their diabetes medication depending on the severity of their condition.

However, you cannot cure type 1 diabetes by just eating healthier. There is no cure for this form of diabetes, at least not yet. An individual with type 1 will rely on insulin injections or insulin pumps for the remainder of their life unless a cure is found in the coming years.

This myth about diabetes can be insensitive when directed at someone that is contending with this illness. I have had this said to me on multiple occasions, yet I am a healthy individual. It can be very frustrating to hear this from someone that does not have diabetes or their only relation to someone with diabetes is their grandfather.

Eating Too Much Sugar Causes Diabetes

Though a diet consisting of foods high in sugar and poor lifestyle choices can contribute to the onset of type 2 diabetes, sugar does not alone cause this condition.

As we have already discussed, type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition, and the direct cause is not yet fully known. So, consuming too much sugar does not correlate with type 1 diabetes.

Type 2 is a metabolic condition in which the body is unable to process insulin like it used to be able to. This is known as insulin resistance, which leads to increased glucose in the blood. There are ways to improve insulin sensitivity to aid in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, which consists of having a diet low in added sugars. However, sugar alone is not the direct cause of type 2 diabetes.

Eating low-quality foods that are high in added sugars often can contribute to other medical conditions. We are not suggesting that you disregard the quality of food, we are simply correcting misinformation about diabetes.

You will Develop Diabetes if You are Overweight

diabetes myths

Though being overweight does put you at a greater risk for developing type 2 diabetes, it does not guarantee you will be diagnosed with this condition.

There are many other factors involved that put you at risk for type 2, such as family history and physical activity. Weight is not the only factor involved when it comes to this form of diabetes. Many people have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes that are not overweight.

However, we suggest that if you are overweight and are carrying excess fat around, that you consult your doctor. Losing weight and gaining control of your health can help you live a more fulfilling life.

Conclusion

The best way to approach someone with diabetes, or any medical condition for that matter, is to ask questions and be genuine. You never know how that condition has affected that individual. Making assumptions and believing that you know what you are talking about can insensitive.

One aspect of diabetes that isn’t a myth is the financial strain that is placed on individuals with this condition. The price of insulin has been on the rise, and so have other medications.

Prescription Hope works to help individuals afford their medication by working with many different pharmaceutical manufacturers. If you are having trouble affording your medication, then enroll with us. Find out if you are eligible to pay just $50 a month for each of your medications.



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