Kate Cornell was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in June of 2005. Since then, she has controlled diabetes through dietary changes, exercise, and, more recently, metformin. She shares her experiences and lessons learned here and on her blog, kates-sweet-success.blogspot.com, which was named as one of the top diabetes blogs for 2015 by Healthline.com.
One of the most frustrating things about having type 2 diabetes is all the misinformation in the media and on our streets. Those myths aren’t just irritating, they can be harmful. It isn’t just “other people” who don’t understand all the ins-and-outs of living with diabetes; some people with diabetes don’t get it either.
Here are some common myths and misconceptions about type 2 diabetes — and why they are wrong.
Myth: Diabetes is not a serious disease
More people die each year from diabetes than breast cancer and AIDS combined. Diabetes is serious, but it can be controlled.
Myth: Diabetes is a death sentence
Just because grandma died from diabetes complications doesn’t mean you will. If you follow the advice of your health care team and make the necessary changes to your lifestyle, you stand a good chance of living a long life despite your diabetes.
Myth: If you are obese or overweight, you will get diabetes
While excess weight is definitely a factor in developing type 2 diabetes, it doesn’t mean that you’ll “get it” if you’re fat. Genetics plays a huge roll in type 2 diabetes.
Myth: If you have diabetes, you can’t do too much exercise or you might get a low blood sugar attack
This is one myth that is harmful to people with diabetes. Exercise is an important component to controlling your diabetes. People who use insulin need to pay attention to balancing their meds, food and exercise, but those who take oral medications will rarely see a low blood sugar from exercising.
Myth: Insulin will harm you
Your body produces insulin; it isn’t a drug. Insulin use needs to be carefully monitored, but the insulin itself won’t harm you.
Myth: If you are put on insulin that means you didn’t take proper care of your diabetes
If you need to eventually use insulin, it doesn’t mean you have failed. It may just be the natural progression of the disease.
Myth: Eating too much sugar causes diabetes and people with diabetes can’t eat sweets.
While excess sugar consumption isn’t good for anyone, it does not cause diabetes. A carefully thought out food plan can certainly contain sweets in moderation.
The better you understand your condition, the better equipped you will help you to control it.
What other diabetes myths have you heard? Share with the community in the comment section below.