Diabetes: Common Myths and Facts

Diabetes: Common Myths and Facts

There are many myths surrounding diabetes that are commonly reported as facts. These misrepresentations of diabetes can be sometimes harmful and misleading especially for those in such conditions.

We debunked some common misconceptions about diabetes and presented interesting facts you should know.

Myth 1: Diabetes is caused by sugar

Fact: There are 2 main types of diabetes: Type 1  and Type 2 Diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes is not caused by sugar intake, it occurs when insulin is not produced in the body. Insulin helps anyone to utilize sugar coming from food effectively.

Type 2 diabetes is more complex, and occurs when the body can’t make enough insulin or can’t properly use the insulin it makes. It is also caused by several factors such as lifestyle and genes. If you’re overweight, obese , physically inactive, have an elevated waist circumference; you’re most likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

Myth 2: People living with diabetes should only eat a particular kind of meal

Fact: There's no specific kind of food for people living with diabetes.

People living with diabetes can eat a variety of meals. You don’t need to eat specific types of food daily.  Eating patterns for people with type 2 diabetes is exactly healthy eating. The general principle is to incorporate more vegetables, moderate amounts of starchy carbohydrates, moderate amounts of healthy protein, limit added sugars and highly processed meals. However, there are different eating patterns for people living with diabetes as reported by the American Diabetes Nutrition Therapy Recommendations for the Management of Adults With Diabetes

Myth 3: People living with diabetes have to eat bitter things to bring down blood sugar.

Fact: People living with diabetes are not required to eat bitter things to drop their blood sugar.

This is a common misconception, eating bitter things does not bring down blood sugar. When food is eaten they are broken down into sugar. All different classes of food (carbohydrate, fat and protein) raise the blood sugar, however, what raises the blood sugar the most is carbohydrate. Eating for people living with diabetes should be interesting and also improve the overall quality of life.

Myth 4: Type 1 Diabetes is caused by poor diet

Fact: Type 1 Diabetes is not caused by poor diet.

People living with type 1 diabetes cannot produce the hormone insulin which is responsible for handling sugar effectively in the body. People living with type 1 diabetes require insulin injections to control their blood sugar effectively. A poor eating pattern would exacerbate the complications that come with diabetes.

Myth 5: People living with diabetes need to cut out carbs from meals.

Fact: You do not have to completely take out carbohydrates out of your diet.

Consuming moderate amounts of carbohydrates is part of a healthy diet. Carbohydrates Food Fact Sheet

Myth 6: With diabetes, I would be on medication for the rest of life.

Fact: With diabetes, you don’t have to be on medication for the rest of your life.

The use of medications for management of diabetes is very important in ensuring good blood sugar control and in preventing complications. Lifestyle modification (diet, physical activity, stress management) is the first line of management in diabetes. People living with type 2 diabetes can go into diabetes remission  International Experts Outline Diabetes Remission Diagnosis Criteria | ADA  if they loose weight (7 - 10 % of their weight)

In general, diabetes is a complex disease. There are many different theories as to what causes it and how it should be treated. Seeking medical attention can reduce risk and help manage diabetes effectively; however, being in a support community is just as important. Platos Health offers a free support group to help you connect with others who live with diabetes and provide a forum for learning, support and discussion.

Join our support community here.