1. Myth: Eating too much sugar triggers diabetes.
Fact: The answer is more complicated and nuanced. Type 1 diabetes is caused by a combination of genetics and unknown factors, whereas type 2 diabetes is caused by genetics and lifestyle factors. While studies have shown that drinking sugary drinks is linked to type 2 diabetes, they have not proven cause and effect.
The American Diabetes Association recommends that people avoid sugary beverages such as soda pop, fruit drinks that are not 100% fruit juice, and energy drinks, along with foods high in fat and sugar.
2. Myth: People with diabetes can't eat sweets or chocolate.
Fact: For those with diabetes, controlling portion sizes is imperative. Combined with exercise and a healthy meal plan, candy may be eaten in moderation by people with diabetes. Sweets are no more "off limits" to people with diabetes than they are to people without diabetes.
The best advice? Have a small portion and save the sweets for special occasions.
3. Myth: You can catch diabetes from someone else.
Fact: Diabetes is not contagious; it is not like the flu or a cold. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body does not produce insulin, a hormone needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy. The onset of type 2 diabetes happens when the body does not use insulin properly.
4. Myth: If you have type 2 diabetes and your doctor says you need to begin using insulin, it means you're failing to properly take care of yourself.
Fact: For many people, type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease. When diabetes first develops, the body suffers from insulin resistance. As a result, the pancreas kicks into overdrive and produces extra insulin. During this time, oral medications may work to keep blood glucose at a healthy level. But, over time, the pancreas can't sustain such high production and stops creating enough insulin to keep blood glucose at normal levels, so people may need to start using insulin.
5. Myth: Diabetes is not a serious disease.
Fact: Diabetes can be very dangerous. According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes causes more deaths per year than AIDS and breast cancer combined. However, if you keep a close eye on your blood glucose levels, diet, exercise, and medications, you may be able to prevent or delay diabetes complications.
6. Myth: You can't get diabetes if you eat a low-carbohydrate diet.
Fact: While there are benefits to eating fewer carbs, an extremely low-carb diet is not recommended. Carbohydrates are fuel for the body; you need them.
7. Myth: People with diabetes are more likely to get colds, the flu, and other illnesses.
Fact: Individuals with diabetes are no more likely to get a cold or the flu than those without it. That being said, people with diabetes are advised get flu shots every year. Any illness can make diabetes harder to manage, and those with diabetes may be more prone to develop serious complications.