Diabetes Myths

There are many myths about diabetes which are commonly reported as facts. These misrepresentations of diabetes can sometimes be harmful and lead to an unrealistic beliefs about the condition.

Diabetes information is widely available from healthcare professionals, internet and word of mouth, but all of it is not true. To clarify certain misconceptions, here are the top twelve myths about diabetes.

This is one of the most common diabetes myths  that people with the condition have to eat a sugar-free diet. People with diabetes need to eat a diet that is balanced, which can include some sugar in moderation.

Fact: People with diabetes can eat sugar.

If type 2 diabetes is poorly managed it can lead to serious (even life-threatening) complications. Good control of diabetes can significantly decrease the risk of complications but this doesn’t mean the condition itself is not serious.

Fact: No form of diabetes is mild.

Whilst type 2 diabetes is often associated with being overweight and obese by the media, it is clearly untrue that type 2 diabetes only affects overweight people.

Fact: Around 20% of people with type 2 diabetes are of a normal weight, or underweight.

Diabetic food is one of the most common recent myths. The label ‘diabetic’ is often used on sweet foods. In these foods artificial sweeteners are used instead of sugar. Diabetic foods can still affect blood glucose levels, they are expensive, and they may also cause adverse side effects.

Fact: People with diabetes can eat regular food while maintaining their required calorie intake suggested by their doctors.

Diabetes is a leading cause of blindness and also causes many amputations each year. However, people with diabetes who control blood pressure, glucose, weight and quit smoking increase their chances of remaining complication free.

Fact: Blindness and amputation are preventable and the vast majority of people with diabetes will avoid blindness and amputation, particularly if annual diabetic health checks are attended each year.

The main danger of driving for people with diabetes is if hypoglycemia occurs. But, hypoglycemia is a preventable state and the vast majority of people with diabetes at risk of hypoglycemia take care to avoid hypoglycemia occurring while driving.

Fact: Statistics show that diabetics are no less safe on the road than anyone else.

Many diabetic sportsmen and women have disproved this diabetes myth. People with diabetes should take part in exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It is advised to consult with the doctor before partaking in sport.

Fact: There is no reason why people with diabetes can’t participate in most sports.

Having diabetes won’t stop you from having a job and with the improvements that have been made in treatment of diabetes, the number of jobs that people with diabetes are ineligible for is very small.

Fact: Apart from some specific roles in the armed forces and a very few other job types, diabetics can do most of the jobs available.

People with diabetes are not more likely to have colds or other illnesses. The significance of illness for people with diabetes is that it can make the management of blood glucose levels more difficult which can increase the severity of an illness or infection. Prevention of illness is particularly important.

Fact: Diabetics are not more likely to catch an illness compared to any non-diabetic person.

Diabetes cannot be caught from someone else. Diabetes is categorised as being a non-communicable illness meaning it cannot be passed on by sneezing, through touch, nor via blood or any other person to person means. The only way in which diabetes can be passed on is from parents to their own children but even this is only a genetic likelihood of diabetes and not the condition itself.

Fact: Nobody can catch diabetes from anybody else.

For most people, type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease. When first diagnosed, many people with type 2 diabetes can keep their blood glucose at a healthy level with oral medications. But over time, the body gradually produces less and less of its own insulin, and eventually oral medications may not be enough to keep blood glucose levels normal.

Fact: Eventually the doctor may advise to use insulin, no matter how careful you are. Besides, using insulin to get blood glucose levels to a healthy level is a good thing, not a bad one.

Fruit is a healthy food. It contains fiber and lots of vitamins and minerals. Because fruits contain carbohydrates, they do raise blood sugar level and need to be included in your meal plan. Talk to your doctor about the amount, frequency and types of fruits you should eat.

Fact: It is not ok to eat as much fruit as you wish, calorie intake from fruits should also be considered.

Alpha release

Version 0.50