There are so many myths surrounding diabetes that it’s nearly impossible to avoid hearing them. We often hear these myths in the form of a concerned friend or family member trying to offer insight into the condition– something they probably picked up on the internet, or on a television show or movie. We can usually chalk up their incorrect facts (and their willingness to share it) to wanting to help. Because we know their hearts are in the right place, it becomes easier to gently set the record straight and move on.
However, there are times when all that misinformation can get pretty frustrating. Or worse, downright harmful.
When individuals use their preconceived notions to judge your lifestyle choices, or worse, potentially influence your decisions, it can stand in the way of successfully managing your diabetes. So, we’re here to set the record straight and debunk some of these myths once and for all.
Take a look!
Make sure to let us know what you think in the comments below!
Myth 5: Diabetics can’t have sugar!
Fact: People diagnosed with diabetes can still have sugar. However, it’s important to consume sugar in moderation. A diabetic diet is actually no different than what is considered to be a generally healthy diet for anyone (diabetic, or not). You should make sure to get plenty of veggies, fruits, and whole grains. Plus, healthy fats (preferably those rich in omega-3’s) and plenty of fiber.
The key is to have sweets in small portions and save them for special occasions. That way, you don’t have to feel like you’re missing out on indulging in your favorite treats or neglecting vital aspects of a balanced diet.
Myth 4: Only people who are overweight get diabetes.
Fact:For starters, it’s important to remember that there are two types of diabetes. With type 1, it’s not uncommon to actually lose weight.
While being overweight puts an individual at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes, there are many other risk factors to take into consideration. These include family history, ethnicity, and age. Most overweight people never develop type 2 diabetes and many with type 2 diabetes are of healthy weight.
That being said, it is important to keep in mind that diet and exercise are important aspects of managing both types of diabetes.
Myth 3: Only old people get diabetes.
Fact: According to a 2014 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 29.1 million people in the United States alone have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. That’s a whopping 9.3% of the population! Shockingly, a large portion– more than 30% of those people have not been diagnosed.
If you think only older people get diabetes, think again. 542,000 children are currently living with diabetes, and 1 in every 7 births involve gestational diabetes. This means people of all ages are affected by this disease.
Myth 2: People with diabetes can’t play sports.
Fact: Individuals diagnosed with diabetes can still live happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives. As long as they monitor their blood sugars and stay healthy, it shouldn’t stop them from playing the sports and activities they love.
In fact, people with diabetes have seen tremendous success in a variety of sports. Gary Hall is a highly decorated olympic swimmer with type 1, professional hockey player Nick Boynton was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 20 years old, and professional football player, Kyle Love was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes while playing for the New England Patriots.
Myth 1: Insulin is a cure to diabetes.
Fact: Unfortunately, insulin is not a cure.
While this miracle drug does make it possible to manage diabetes, currently there is no cure.
Until a cure is found, medication, lifestyle choices, and insulin will help many diabetics take control of their condition, and continue to lead happy, healthy lives.
However, diabetes remains a difficult condition to manage. It requires 24-7 attention, and never takes a day off. It can take it’s toll, mentally, physically, and emotionally on both the people who suffer from it and their loved ones. We need to find a cure!
L.D. and her eleven-year-old lab, Eleanor Rigby Fitzgerald, moved from Seattle to Grand Rapids earlier this year, and are currently enjoying exploring their new city! She likes books, music, movies, running, and being outdoors as much as possible.