Diabetes Myths & Misconceptions

Here are some myths about diabetes that you may have heard. If anyone ever confronts you with these, just inform them of what diabetes really is. If you have any more questions about diabetes, feel free to contact me and I’ll get them answered.

Diabetes isn’t that serious.

In 2018, 34.2 million, about 10.2%, of the population in the U.S. have diabetes. The 1.5 million new cases in 2018 were aged 18 years and older. Approximately 210,000 were aged 20 years and younger; about 6,000 were children and adolescents, aged 10 to 19, were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. In 2017, diabetes was the #7 leading cause of deaths in the U.S., about 83,500 death certificates listed diabetes as the underlying cause of death. In 2016, there were about 235,000 hospital visits were for hypoglycemia and about 224,000 were for hyperglycemia, with diabetes as the listed cause.

Being overweight causes diabetes. Thin people can’t get diabetes.

This isn’t necessarily true. There are many people who are overweight that aren’t diabetic and there are some “normal” people who are diabetic. Body size doesn’t determine whether or not you’re diabetic. There are many risk factors that may lead to diabetes, such as family history, age, and poor diet to name a few. Only about 80% of diabetics are overweight. Even if you don’t have a lot of visible fat, your body might have visceral (hidden) fat. The presence of visceral fat can be a factor that leads to diabetes.

Diabetes doesn’t run in my family, so I’m good.

Just because you don’t have diabetes in your family history, doesn’t mean you guaranteed won’t get diabetes. There are a lot of factors that lead to diabetes, not just family history. If you live a sedentary life and have a poor diet, you might just increase your chances of getting diagnosed with diabetes.

It’s okay to stop my medications once my blood sugar is under control.

Unless your doctor tells you you’re okay to stop your medication, don’t stop your medication on your own. Your doctor may want to come up with an alternative treatment plan before you stop your medication.

People with diabetes can’t eat sugar.

It’s not completely okay to stop intaking sugar especially if you have a history of hypoglycemic episodes or have Type 1 diabetes. You should definitely monitor how much sugar you take in and have a balanced diet. Sugar is necessary to fuel your body.

Diabetes is contagious.

Diabetes is a non-communicable illness, meaning it is not something that can be passed on to someone else. There’s no sneezing or coughing that can cause you to spread it. There are multiple risk factors that can help determine how at risk you are of getting it, but just because you hung out with your best friend who has diabetes, doesn’t mean you’re going to become diabetic from them.

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Beyond Type 2

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