Diabetes: The Myths and Facts

According to the Center for Disease Control, there are over 30 million people with diabetes in America and 1 out of 10 of those people don’t even know they have it.  If not managed properly, diabetes can cause a number of serious complications like blindness, amputation, kidney disease, heart attack, and stroke. Since diabetes is not preventable or curable, it’s important to raise diabetes awareness to ensure people have the right information. Although it’s not preventable, there are several things to do to decrease your risk.

Diabetes is a serious and manageable condition, yet many people have misconceptions about diabetes. With a lack of education, high-risk people may be in trouble if they aren’t aware of the truth.  We put together a list of the 9 most common diabetes myths.

Diabetes Myths

Myth #1: Diabetics can’t eat sugar

  • People with diabetes have to eat a balanced diet with a variety of nutritional sources, including sugar. People with diabetes should consume sugar in moderation, but they won’t die if they eat it.

Myth #2: Type 2 diabetes only affects overweight people

  • One of the most common diabetes myths is that only overweight people can have type 2. However, studies have shown that around 20% of type 2 diabetics have a normal weight or are even slightly underweight.

The Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

Myth #3: Diabetics are more likely to get sick

  • People with diabetes are not more likely to become ill, however if complications with illness can occur if they cannot properly measure their blood glucose levels.

Myth #4: Diabetes is contagious

  • This myth is a bit absurd, and thankfully not at all true. The only way that someone can pass it on to someone else is through heredity.

Myth #5: Diabetes is a result of eating too much sugar

  • Diabetes can be caused by many factors, one of them being eating a poor diet that’s high in sugar, carbs, and salt. Since eating poorly can lead to obesity, many people think that high sugar consumption is the cause. People with diabetes should consume sugar in moderation while taking proper medication to manage their condition.

Myth #6: Only older people can develop diabetes

  • People over the age of 65 are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes due to the decreased function of the pancreas and increased insulin resistance, however it is not true that only elderly people can get diabetes.

Myth #7: Insulin is the cure for diabetes

  • Unfortunately, there is no know cure for type 1 or 2 diabetes. The condition is manageable by taking insulin and measuring blood glucose levels, but insulin will not cure someone of diabetes.

Myth #8: People with diabetes can only eat “diabetic foods”

  • There is no such thing as a “diabetic food”, there are certain foods that are recommended to diabetics and certain foods that diabetics should avoid in excess, but food is not manufactured specifically for diabetics. People with diabetes need to pay close attention to their diet and lifestyle to ensure they don’t worsen their condition or increase their risk for developing complications.

Myth #9: Drinking a lot of water will flush the sugar from your blood and cure your diabetes

  • You cannot wash away the contents of your blood by drinking an excessive amount of water. Drinking lots of water is beneficial, but it can’t rid the body of excess sugar.

Don’t listen to everything you hear, especially any of these diabetes myths. At USA Vascular Centers, we believe it’s important to be properly informed about the condition. Believing any of these diabetes myths could make or break your long term health. Diabetes can be controlled by living a healthy lifestyle, eating a well-balanced diet, taking prescribed medication properly and monitoring blood glucose levels. It’s best to consult with your primary care physician and have them test your blood sugar levels to determine if you are at risk.

Diabetes increases your risk of developing Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD), a common and serious disease. If you want to learn more about PAD and what treatments are available to you, contact us at 888.773.2193.

Don’t feel like calling? Click here to schedule an appointment online with one of vascular specialists.