8 Myths About Diabetes You Probably Think Are True

Diabetes affects nearly 26 million people in the United States, and in recent years that number has been growing due to a range of factors. Because of this, many misconceptions about the disease have been perpetuated. Read on to learn a few myths about diabetes that you might think are true.

1. Weight is the only risk in developing diabetes

Diabetes tends to be exclusively associated with obesity. While increased obesity in both children and adults has led to more cases of diabetes, and being overweight increases the risk of being diagnosed with diabetes, weight isn’t the only factor in getting the disease. Genetics, lack of exercise, and age are huge factors in developing Type 2 diabetes, and people that appear otherwise healthy can develop the disease.

2. Diabetics require a special diet

People often think that diabetics require a specific type of diet, but truthfully they only require a healthy diet, i.e. what any other person should be eating. “Should” is the keyword here, as unhealthy diets are prevalent among many Americans, so eating a well-rounded diet that includes vegetables, lean meats, fruit, and whole grains might seem unusual.

3. Diabetes isn’t a serious disease

Because so many people with diabetes live relatively normal lives, it can often be assumed that diabetes isn’t a serious disease. In fact, two out of three people with diabetes die of heart disease or stroke and the disease becomes even more dangerous when left untreated. Some people experience mild symptoms and their diabetes can go undiagnosed for years.

myths about diabetes

4. Diabetes increases your chances of getting other illnesses

There is no increased risk of contracting other diseases, including the flu and common colds, if you have diabetes. After you have contracted an illness, however, it is more likely you will develop complications related to that illness, so it is recommended that diabetics get flu shots to prevent this from happening.

5. Using insulin means your diabetes is out of control

Everyone has different needs when it comes to controlling their diabetes, and just because you need oral or intravenous insulin doesn’t mean that your diabetes is out of control. As the disease advances with age, there are different strategies for controlling it, and sometimes that will include injecting insulin which will serve to keep you feeling normal.

6. Everyone with diabetes needs to use insulin

On the other side of the coin, some people won’t need insulin at all. These people experience mild symptoms and can generally control their diabetes with a healthy diet, and sometimes don’t even need to check their blood sugar levels regularly.

7. Carbohydrates and sugar cause diabetes

While it’s true that an unhealthy diet can cause people to develop Type 2 diabetes, eating a large amount of sugar isn’t the sole reason diabetes onset. Most foods are converted by your body into glucose, so overeating in general is the main culprit. A good example is Japan, which has seen a rise in diabetes cases since meat and fast food started to replace rice in peoples’ diets.

8. Diabetes is irreversible

With a healthy diet, diabetes can be maintained and controlled to the point that there are little or no systems of the disease. Again, a healthy diet and active lifestyle is the best way to maintain the symptoms of diabetes, and if you are diagnosed it doesn’t necessarily mean you will be affected by the symptoms for the rest of your life.

MMAR Medical, a supplier of medical equipment including diabetic footwear, sports braces, and heat therapy devices.

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  1. Good post, I think a lot of people don’t understand diabetes well.
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  2. Masshole Mommy says:

    My brother is a diabetic and he definitely does not take it seriously. This is great advice!

  3. Paula Parker says:

    What an informative post. My mom is diabetic and she didn’t know some of these. Thanks for the info.

  4. I didn’t know these things! Thanks for being so informative!
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  5. Wow thank you for sharing! This is so helpful!
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  6. my nephew has juvenile diabetes, so all those myths were put to rest in our family..

  7. It hurts me heart every time someone I care about doesn’t realize how serious diabetes is. I wish they would listen!
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  8. I must admit that I believed some of these myths. Thanks for sharing the truth.
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  9. There are several of these that I thought were the case. Guess it shows how much I do not know.
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  10. Those were myths, I didn’t know about. Thanks for clearing that up.

  11. That’s wonderful information about diabetes. It runs in my family too.

  12. I agree that many people could solve their diabetes problems with diet and exercise. Unfortunately left too long diabetes does damage the body.

  13. This is really relevant mythbusters for diabetes. It’s always important for proper diet and monitoring in case of diabetes.
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  14. Elizabeth O. says:

    Diabetes can be a killer. Great to debunk these myths.

  15. Diabetes runs in our blood. My dad currently has it and my uncle too. My aunt died because of it. Sometimes I’m afraid I’ll get it. Gee. I hope not.
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  16. Ann Bacciaglia says:

    I live in a family with diabetes. I knew the myths. It is a manageable disease. We have learned a lot about nutrition.

  17. I still wouldn’t call controlling the disease the same as reversing it. My grandparents all had diabetes, it’s no walk int he park.
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  18. I guess I thought the special diet thing was true. THe healthy diet makes sense.
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  19. Diabetes runs rampantly on both sides of my family – both of my parents have it, a sister has it, most of my uncles had it (all are now deceased except one), etc. I even had a cousin die from it. I’m afraid of getting it, considering I’m an anemic.
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  20. Thanks for the update. I have family members with diabetes, and it’s nice to know that it can be managed with a proper diet. Hopefully they are diligent in their efforts.
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  21. I didn’t know diabetes was reversible. This is a good list for information, seems we all know someone who is diabetic.
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  22. Well this article is an eye opener. I have learn a lot about diabetes and this is good to know.
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  23. I know I have believed some of the myths at a point in life myself. My dad has diabetes and I have learned a lot about it since. It is a serious disease if you don’t take care of it.
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  24. Wow, this is so interesting! I didn’t know it was irreversible!

  25. Thank you for sharing. I’m learning more about this illness all the time.

  26. Unfortunately I know about diabetes from many people in my family. It defiantly is a serious disease. It isn’t irreversible–and not everyone takes insulin…. and just because you don’t take insulin doesn’t mean everything is in check. I check for my diabetes risk at every annual checkup.
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  27. Thank you for sharing all of these points. My granddaughter has diabetes and I shall pass on your points to my son.
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  28. Danielle Stewart says:

    Great info. Very informative and insightful. Virtually any and everything can be controlled by diet. Sadly, our country has done such unhealthy things to most of the food supply, it’s difficult to be certain about what you are getting.

  29. I have diabetes on both sides of my family. This is great information to stay informed.
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  30. Glad you put some of these myths to bed. I know several family members who’ve stopped being diabetic when they lost weight, so I’ve seen what you said in reality.
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  31. Chrissy Mazzocchi says:

    This is very useful information, I will be sharing this with friends and family members. Thanks!

  32. Its amazing how common diabetes is, yet there are still so many misconceptions about it. Thanks for sharing these insights!
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  33. What good information this is some i did not know.
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  34. Trying to understand this blog post (bookmarked!) as my Mother in Law is diabetic.
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