20 Diabetes Myths
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20 Diabetes Myths

September 13, 2019


Hello, I am Ty Mason of thediabetescouncil.com,
researcher, writer and I have type 2 diabetes. Today I want to talk about diabetes myths
you may have heard. After you watch the video today, I invite
you check out the description box for my new ebook. This is one of the most comprehensive diabetes
meal planning book you can find. It contains diabetes friendly meals/recipes,
recipes for different goals such as 800-1800 calories per day meal plan, diabetes meal
planning tips and tricks. There are also tons of diabetes friendly recipes
for everyone! You have heard many things about diabetes. Some are true and others are just plain hogwash. Today I want to dispel some myths about diabetes. Myth #1: Diabetes is caused by eating too
much sugar. Fact. Diabetes is not caused by eating too much
sugar. There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and
type 2. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas completely
stops making any insulin. Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, results
when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin and/or is unable to use insulin properly (this
is also referred to as ‘insulin resistance’). This form of diabetes usually occurs in people
who are over 40 years of age, overweight, and have a family history of diabetes, although
today it is increasingly occurring in younger people. Myth #2 Diabetes is not that serious of a
disease. Fact: Diabetes causes more deaths a year than
breast cancer and AIDS combined. Having diabetes nearly doubles your chance
of having a heart attack. The good news is that good diabetes control
can reduce your risks for diabetes complications. Myth: #3 Insulin will harm you. Insulin is a lifesaver, but it’s also difficult
to manage for some people. New and improved insulin allows for much tighter
blood sugar control with lower risk of low or high blood sugar. Testing your blood sugar levels, however,
is the only way to know how your treatment plan is working for you. Myth #4: If you have diabetes, you can’t
eat starchy foods, such as bread, potatoes and pasta. Fact: Starchy foods can be part of a healthy
meal plan, but portion size is key. Whole grain breads, cereals, pasta, rice and
starchy vegetables like potatoes, yams, peas and corn can be included in your meals and
snacks. In addition to these starchy foods, fruits,
beans, milk, yogurt, and sweets are also sources of carbohydrate that you need to count in
your meal plan. Myth #5: Taking insulin means you have “failed.” Fact: If you have type 1 diabetes, you must
take insulin to survive once you’ve been diagnosed, without it you will die. People with type 2 diabetes may initially
be able to manage their diabetes with a combination of healthy eating and physical activity. Many people start on oral diabetes medication
when they are first diagnosed, and eventually, most people will need to go on insulin. This is because diabetes changes over time. If you have type 2 diabetes, starting insulin
doesn’t mean you’ve done a bad job—just the opposite, in fact! Starting on insulin will help you to better
manage your diabetes which, in turn, lowers your risk of developing complications. Myth #6: You can catch diabetes from someone
else. Fact: No. Although we don’t know exactly why some
people develop diabetes, we know diabetes is not contagious. It can’t be caught like a cold or flu. There seems to be some genetic link in diabetes,
particularly type 2 diabetes. Lifestyle factors also play a part. Myth #7: People with diabetes are more likely
to get colds and other illnesses. Fact: You are no more likely to get a cold
or another illness if you have diabetes. However, people with diabetes are advised
to get flu shots. This is because any illness can make diabetes
more difficult to control, and people with diabetes who do get the flu are more likely
than others to go on to develop serious complications. Myth #8: Herbal supplements can cure diabetes. FACT: Chances are you’ve spotted online ads
for supplements and vitamins that promise to eliminate diabetes. That may explain why people with diabetes
are more likely to use dietary supplements and herbal therapies than people without diabetes,
according to the American Diabetes Association. Everyone wants a magic bullet. They think, ‘If I take this pill for a couple
of weeks I don’t have to worry about anything,’ but it’s not true.” Stick with well researched medication prescribed
by your doctor, and if you’d like to take a supplement in addition to standard medication,
consult your MD first. Myth #9: If you have diabetes, you can’t
lead an active lifestyle. FACT. This myth is particularly problematic because
many long-term studies have shown the positive impact regular physical activity has on lowering
glucose. Naturally, any physical fitness program needs
to be approved by your diabetes care team prior to starting, but once you’ve settled
into a program, being active and healthy with diabetes is absolutely possible and is definitely
encouraged! If you have any complications, such as heart
disease, retinopathy (eye disease) or neuropathy (pain or loss of sensation in your feet),
talk with your provider before you start any kind of exercise program. You may need special tests to make sure it’s
safe for you to exercise. Ask your provider for a referral to an exercise
physiologist or qualified exercise trainer for suggestions on types of exercise that
are best for you. If you’ve never been very active, start
slow. Walking and yoga are great ways to ease into
an activity program. Myth #10: Injecting insulin is painful. FALSE. If you take insulin injections, it doesn’t
have to hurt. In fact, it shouldn’t hurt! Practice good injection technique and the
experience will be virtually painless. If you inject insulin with syringes, Andrea
Penney, RN, CDE, of Joslin Diabetes Center, offers this advice: “After selecting and cleaning
an injection site, firmly–but not tightly–pinch up an area about 2–3 inches wide. Inject at a ninety degree angle while the
skin is pinched. Leave the needle in while you relax the pinch. Count to five slowly. Then remove the needle. Do not massage the area after the injection.” If you use an insulin pen and experience discomfort,
ask your provider or diabetes educator about using shorter pen needles and needles that
are thinner. These can help minimize discomfort and do
not require you to “pinch up.” Myth #11: Exercising when you have diabetes
only increases your chances of experiencing low blood sugar. Fact. Don’t think that just because you have diabetes
you can skip out on your workout! Exercise is crucial to controlling diabetes. If you’re on insulin, or a medication that
increases insulin production in the body, you have to balance exercise with your medication
and diet. Talk to your doctor about creating an exercise
program that’s right for you and your body. Myth #12: Diabetes means you’ll go blind or
lose a limb FACT: Left uncontrolled, diabetes can cause
serious damage, including heart disease and stroke, blindness, kidney disease, and loss
of a limb. But the risk can be greatly reduced by keeping
blood sugar under control, says Dan Nadeau, MD, endocrinologist at Allen Diabetes Center
at Hoag Hospital in Orange County, Calif. “Better glucose (blood sugar) control, the
right medications, and smart choices about foods are critical for reducing the risk of
complications. Working to achieve ideal weight is another
powerful tool to avoid complications.” Early detection helps reduce the risk of complications,
along with regular eye exams, urine tests, and foot exams. Myth #13: If you are overweight or obese,
you will eventually develop type 2 diabetes. Fact: Being overweight is a risk factor for
developing this disease, but other risk factors such as family history, ethnicity and age
also play a role. Unfortunately, too many people disregard the
other risk factors for diabetes and think that weight is the only risk factor for type
2 diabetes. Most overweight people never develop type
2 diabetes, and many people with type 2 diabetes are at a normal weight or only moderately
overweight. Myth #14: Diabetes is the same for everyone
FACT: Symptoms, dietary approaches, and reactions to various foods all vary individually in
type 2 diabetes, says Dr. Zaidi. “Some people have no symptoms until they experience
a heart attack. While in the hospital they find out their
blood sugar is sky high but they had no prior idea they were diabetic.” Whether or not you exercise can play a significant
role in determining your blood sugar after eating a certain food as well, says Dr. Zaidi. “You can give the same number of calories
to two different people and their blood sugar may be different, depending on fitness level
and even ethnicity.” Keeping a food diary with foods and blood
sugar reactions two hours after a meal helps determine an individual’s reaction to specific
foods, he says. Myth #15: It’s your own fault that you have
diabetes. Fact: Diabetes isn’t anyone’s fault. No one knows what causes diabetes. Your eating and activity choices can play
a role in your blood sugar control. But it’s not the whole story. Telling someone with diabetes it’s their
own fault is like telling someone with cancer they caused themselves to get it. Not only is it not true, it is very cruel. Myth #16: People with diabetes can’t eat sweets
or chocolate. Fact: If eaten as part of a healthy meal plan,
or combined with exercise, sweets and desserts can be eaten by people with diabetes. They are no more “off limits” to people with
diabetes than they are to people without diabetes. The key to sweets is to have a very small
portion and save them for special occasions so you focus your meal on more healthful foods. Myth #17: Insulin is the last treatment for
diabetes. Fact. Insulin is the most effective treatment for
Type 1 diabetes, and sometimes even for Type 2. In fact it’s usually the first choice for
a patient because it helps give the body some rest from trying to deal with the lack of
production (Type 1) or the misuse of insulin by the body (Type 2). Finding an insulin routine, whether it includes
insulin pens, syringes or pumps, is an effective way to help keep your blood glucose level
near normal. However, people often view insulin injections
as inconvenient or painful, and they often look to it as a last resort. The truth is, insulin injections give patients
control over their bodies and can be adjusted to fit each individual’s unique lifestyle. They are the most practical, convenient and
beneficial option for diabetes patients. Many people use insulin only in times of need,
and this debunks the myth that once on insulin – always on insulin. Myth #18: People with diabetes should eat
special diabetic foods. Fact: A healthy meal plan for people with
diabetes is generally the same as a healthy diet for anyone – low in saturated and trans
fat, moderate in salt and sugar, with meals based on lean protein, non-starchy vegetables,
whole grains, healthy fats and fruit. Diabetic and “dietetic” foods generally offer
no special benefit. Most of them still raise blood glucose levels,
are usually more expensive and can also have a laxative effect if they contain sugar alcohols. Myth #19: Being out of control is part of
diabetes. Fact: New treatments and technology have put
the control of managing diabetes directly in the hands of the patient. While most people think it’s normal for glucose
levels to jump around inconsistently, there are tools that allow doctors to match a treatment
plan with each individual’s lifestyle. In the past, people with diabetes had to lead
regimented lifestyles, making sure they ate at specific times or took insulin shots at
regular intervals. Although this is one way of managing the disease,
it’s not the only way. New methods of treatment allow people to match
their insulin around their life instead of the other way around. Insulin does the same work for your body everyday,
but that doesn’t mean you have to do the same thing each day. With the discovery of new methods and technology,
patients are empowered more than ever before to take charge of their diagnosis. Myth #20: There is a cure for diabetes, but
big drug companies won’t let go of it because it will cost them too much money. Fact. Like most everything else in this world, there
are those with the conspiracy theories that say things like this. For every disease someone thinks the government
or big drug companies are sitting on a cure. Drug companies are not going to sit by and
watch people die of a disease they have a cure for. Scientists and researchers in the field would
never allow that to happen. Strides are being made every day, but as of
right now, there is no cure for diabetes. That’s my list. Have you heard any other myths you would like
us to look into? Let us know. Don’t forget to get my new ebook. Like this video and subscribe to our channel
so we can continue to bring you informative videos like this one in the future. Thanks for watching!

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  1. I wonder about the drug companies. Do they really want to find a cure for diabetes and give up all that money they make.?

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