Top Five Diabetes Myths Debunked

According to the 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet, diabetes affects 25.8 million people in the U.S. — 8.3 percent of the population. Despite the large number of people with diabetes, many still confuse fact with fiction when it comes to this metabolic disease.

Now is the time to put the myths to rest and to learn the truth about diabetes!

Myth 1: Diabetes is "no big deal"

FALSE. For most people, diabetes requires daily management. Without properly managing their blood glucose levels, diabetics could develop hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia, or they could fall into a diabetic coma. In addition to this, two out of every three diabetic people pass away from heart disease or a stroke.

Myth 2: If you are overweight, you will develop diabetes

FALSE. Being overweight or obese does put you at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, but it is only one of many other factors. All of the environmental factors should be addressed by individuals, rather than just your weight. Other considerations include: family history, age, inactivity, smoking, and alcoholism.

Myth 3: You can get diabetes by consuming too much sugar

FALSE. One risk factor for type 2 diabetes is weight, which is directly affected by a high-calorie diet. Sugar-heavy drinks in particular have been connected to type 2 diabetes. As a precaution, the American Diabetes Association suggests that you limit your intake of sugary drinks, such as soda, energy drinks, fruit drinks, and sports drinks.

Eating sugar is not the only potential cause of diabetes, and it is essential to be aware of the other diabetes risk factors as well.

Myth 4: If you have diabetes, you can never eat sweets

FALSE. Dessert does not need to be completely cut out of a diabetic's diet. Instead, sweets should be moderated and comprise only a small portion of your diet. A diabetic health plan should be focused on healthy eating and regular physical activity, instead of on what you can or cannot eat.

Myth 5: Diabetes is a transmissible disease

FALSE. It is not possible for you to catch diabetes from someone else. Type 1 diabetes is caused primarily by genetics, and type 2 diabetes is caused by genetics and lifestyle factors. Diabetes is in no way a contagious disease.

Source: American Diabetes Association

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