7 Myths about Diabetes You Need to Stop Believing
Diabetes mellitus, commonly referred to as diabetes, has long been shrouded in myths and misunderstandings. Diabetes has become an epidemic in the US, but that doesn’t mean you need to believe all the myths about it that you hear. If you’re one of them, now is the time to stop believing these myths and start getting treatment so that you can start preventing your diabetes from getting worse, as well as reducing your risk of future complications from the condition, like heart disease and stroke.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently released the 2022 National Diabetes Statistics Report. This report estimates that more than 130 million adults are living with diabetes or prediabetes in the United States
- Total: 37.3 million people have diabetes (11.3% of the US population)
- Diagnosed: 28.7 million people, including 28.5 million adults
- Undiagnosed: 8.5 million people (23.0% of adults are undiagnosed)
- Total: 96 million people aged 18 years or older have prediabetes (38.0% of the adult US population)
- 65 years or older: 26.4 million people aged 65 years or older (48.8%) have prediabetes
Myth 1: Weight loss cures type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a lifestyle disease that’s caused by high blood sugar. The excess sugar in the bloodstream can be controlled by diet and exercise, but weight loss doesn’t cure diabetes. A person with type 2 diabetes will still have high blood sugar after losing weight because their body isn’t producing enough insulin, or their body doesn’t use the insulin it produces effectively. When this happens, you may need to take medication for the rest of your life. Losing weight can help control your diabetes by lowering the amount of sugar in your blood so you may need less medication, but it doesn’t cure it.
Myth 2: Exercise alone can cure type 2 diabetes
Exercise can help control blood sugar levels, but it is not a cure. Exercise will lower blood glucose levels by burning off excess glucose in the bloodstream and releasing insulin. This lowers the amount of sugar that is in the blood. However, because exercise won’t increase your body’s ability to produce insulin or decrease your body’s resistance to insulin, it isn’t a long-term solution for type 2 diabetes. It also doesn’t have any effect on people with type 1 diabetes.
So, you should talk with your doctor before starting an exercise program if you have either condition. If you’ve been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, then all physical activity should be monitored by your physician to make sure that insulin levels are not too low or too high. If you’re living with type 2 diabetes and are currently taking oral medications or other forms of treatment, it may be difficult to monitor how they affect your glucose levels during physical activity without talking with a physician.
Myth 3: All diabetics have high blood sugar
When your blood sugar levels are high, this is known as hyperglycemia. Diabetics can have different types of diabetes, and these conditions will affect how often the patient has high blood sugar.
A person with type 1 diabetes might have high blood sugar levels without any outside influence, but a type 2 diabetic will usually only experience highs if they ate too much or exercised too hard. Eating less and exercising more may help reduce these peaks in blood sugar levels for a type 2 diabetic.
If you notice that you frequently have high blood sugar levels, talk to your doctor about the best ways to manage it. Exercise and diet changes may not be enough to control your blood sugar levels. Your doctor may recommend taking insulin shots or oral medications, so make sure to ask him about all of your options before deciding what is right for you.
Myth 4: If you eat too much fruit, it will increase your blood glucose level
The truth is the natural sugars in whole fruit are actually good for your body. Fruit is a great source of vitamins and minerals, but it can also contain natural sugars that may be too high in amount for someone with high blood sugar levels to eat while maintaining their blood glucose levels.
In fact, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends that people with diabetes limit or avoid eating fruit juices, dried fruits and canned fruits because they often contain large amounts of natural sugars. So, if you have blood sugar, try fresh fruit instead!
Myth 5: Diabetics have to count calories
You don’t have to count calories as long as you eat a healthy diet. This means eating balanced meals with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins. Eating healthy will help you feel better and lower your risk for complications like heart disease, stroke, and blindness. The key is moderation: balance what you eat with regular exercise.
A snack of nuts, fruit, or veggies will satisfy your hunger so you’re less likely to grab something unhealthy when the 3 o’clock hunger pangs hit.
Myth 6: Type 1 and type 2 diabetes cause heart disease
Type 2 diabetes does not cause heart disease. In fact, people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes are at a lower risk of developing heart disease than people without diabetes. This is because people with diabetes tend to have lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Furthermore, people who take insulin for their type 1 or type 2 diabetes can also reduce their chances of developing heart disease by lowering blood sugar levels and controlling weight through exercise and diet.
Myth 7: Insulin injections are the only treatment for type 1 diabetics
Insulin injections are the most common treatment for type 1 diabetes. But not all people with type 1 need insulin shots every day. In fact, many people with type 1 can control their blood sugar levels just fine by eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of exercise and making some lifestyle changes. Some people may need insulin shots or other drugs like metformin pills or Byetta (exenatide) to help manage their blood sugar levels.
For those who do require regular insulin injections, there are two options: long-acting and short-acting. Short acting is usually taken before eating and lasts for three hours. Long-acting typically lasts 12 hours and is often taken once daily in the morning.
It is always the best to let the food you eat provide you with essential vitamins and minerals. However, more and more people are turning to alternative medicines and supplements. In fact, according to the American Diabetes Association, diabetics are more likely to use supplements than those without the disease.
A number of supplements have shown promise as diabetes treatments. Supplement may help you in managing your blood sugar levels but it can’t be replaced with your diabetes medication. It is always better to ask your health care provider before taking any supplements. Supplements may interact with other medications you are taking or pose risks if you have certain medical conditions.
➤Here is the list of Dietary Supplements that are available in the market today which claims to add nutrients to your diet or lower your risk of health problems like Weight management, Diabetes, Oral health etc.