There are a lot of misunderstandings and rumors when it comes to diabetes, as well as what causes it. Type 1 and 2 diabetes have many contributing factors that people ignore because they believe the myths that float around the topic. Here, we investigate a list of common myths in order to help you prevent and/or manage diabetes more accurately.
Myth: Diabetes is not a serious disease
Diabetes adds extra stress to your heart and puts you at a greater risk for a heart attack. Diabetes causes more deaths in a year than breast cancer and AIDS combined. While diabetes is a serious illness, it is easily managed with a healthy diet and exercise to avoid complications.
Myth: Diabetes is caused by eating too much sugar
Having too much sugar is not what causes diabetes. It’s the failure of the pancreas to produce enough insulin to control your glucose levels that causes it. Sugary drinks are linked to type 2 diabetes and The American Diabetes Association recommends that people avoid sugar-sweetened drinks.
Myth: If you’re overweight or obese, you’ll eventually develop diabetes
While being overweight is a risk factor, there are other matters that also play a role. Such factors as family history and age play a vital role, and people commonly disregard these risks. Most overweight people never develop type 2, and many people with type 2 are of a normal weight.
Myth: People with diabetes are more likely to get sick
Illness can make your diabetes harder to manage, but having diabetes does not make you more vulnerable to getting sick. However, it is strongly recommended that people with diabetes get the flu shot because they are likely to develop complications if they catch the flu.
Myth: Fruit is healthy, so it’s okay to eat as much as you wish
Fruit is healthy and contains important vitamins and fiber, but it also has carbohydrates that can raise blood glucose levels. Before adding fruit to your diet, talk to your dietitian about how much and how often you should eat certain types.
Myth: Diabetics should only eat small amounts of starch foods
Portion size is the key when it comes to managing your diet. Adding starches like pasta, rice, potatoes, and many more are fine, but they should be monitored and balanced other carbs like fruits, beans and sweets. Talk to your dietitian to see find out how much carbohydrates should be included in your meals for a healthy diet.
Myth: Eating after 8 p.m. will make you fat
The time when time you eat is not what’s important. What matters most is the amount that you eat during the entire day. It’s important to balance your calorie intake and exercise throughout the day if you want a snack before bed. Eating after 8 p.m. is okay as long as you take into consideration how many calories you’ve had throughout the day.
Myth: Diabetics can’t live an active life
This myth causes major problems in the long run. Long-term studies have shown that living an active life with regular physical activity lowers your glucose levels. If you have additional complications, you should talk to your diabetes care team about a fitness plan that is best for you.
Myth: Taking insulin means you’re failing at managing your diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is typically a progressive disease and using insulin is something you work toward prolonging. It may start with oral medications, but eventually oral medications may not be enough because your body gradually produces less and less insulin on its own.
Diabetes is an ugly disease that can be managed when you educate yourself on the facts. Before making any decisions about your health, talk to your doctor and do your research to find out what’s truly best for you.