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.
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.