Debunking Some of the Most Persistent Myths Surrounding Diabetes

Even though diabetes is becoming more prevalent every day, according to statistics, there are many myths that are still floating around even with all of the informational resources available about the disease.

The #1 myth that concerns more people than you may think is that once you’re diagnosed with diabetes, you can’t have sweets anymore.  Thank goodness that this one is not true.  The American Diabetes Association indicates that people with type 2 diabetes can eat sweets in moderation.  It’s true that limiting them is necessary because sweets often contain not just empty calories but loads of sugar, which is a carbohydrate that increases glucose levels dramatically.  The ADA recommends that diabetics can partake in desserts, in moderation, after they have a low-carb meal.

The 2nd persistent myth is that eating a large amount of sugar will cause diabetes.  For all those chocoholics out there, take heart in the fact that you are not destined to develop diabetes.  Scientists believe that the disease comes about due to a combination of both genetic and lifestyle factors.  Also, it needs to be known that the high level of sugar in a person’s bloodstream, a sign of diabetes, is not the same thing as the refined sugar we buy at the grocery store.  There is though, a relation between sugar and diabetes.  Eating loads of sugar can pack on pounds and overweight people have an increased chance of developing type 2 diabetes.

This brings to mind another myth.  Many people believe that only overweight people get diabetes.  Diabetes is not a discriminatory disease.  Even thinner people have the disease and scientists know that many cases of Juvenile-onset diabetes (type 1) happen in thin people just as much as in the obese.

One of the silliest persistent myths is that diabetes is a contagious disease.  This is totally and irrevocably false.  Even though scientists are still working on the exact science of the disorder, it cannot be contracted from another person.  There is a genetic predisposition for developing type 2 diabetes if there is a family history of the disease, but you can’t “catch” diabetes by association.

Even though diabetes is a very serious disease, which is in fact progressive, many people believe that you won’t die from the disease, that it’s “not that serious.”  This is not true.  In fact, diabetes is a major factor in causing more deaths per year than AIDS and breast cancer put together.  Statistics have so far shown that 2 out of 3 people with the disease will die from a stroke or heart disease.

This brings about another myth that if you develop diabetes, you are doomed.  While it is true that diabetes is a progressive, long-term disease which currently doesn’t have a cure, people can avoid a death sentence by taking care of themselves by following their doctor’s prescribed treatment to the letter.

There is no need to hide under a rock after developing diabetes.  There are many people who do lead spontaneous, active and busy lives while at the same time managing their diabetes successfully.  With support from a strong base of people, including family, friends and health care professionals, it is very probable that you will have a full and meaningful life.

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