If you are living with Diabetes, you are not alone. In just the United States, 23.6 million people have been diagnosed with diabetes. It’s estimated 5.6 million people have Diabetes and don’t even know it. With Diabetes’ growing ‘popularity’, misinformation about the disease is dangerous – even deadly. Knowing the difference between truth and hearsay is up to you and could save your life.
Here we go:
Myth: Insulin cures diabetes. BUSTED
fact: For those with Type 1 Diabetes, taking insulin can keep you alive, but it can’t cure the disease. There has been a lot of medical strides towards finding a permanent solution for those affected by Diabetes, but as of right now, there is still no cure for diabetes.
Myth: Insulin causes weight gain. PLAUSIBLE
fact: Some people who begin taking insulin do experience a weight gain. Insulin allows the body to use food more efficiently.
If you’re concerned about weight gain, talk to a dietitian about a new eating plan before beginning insulin.
Myth: ‘Diabetics’ can’t be athletes. BUSTED
fact: Exercise is vital for everyone’s health, especially for those with diabetes. Regular physical activity can lower blood sugar to meet a target range. Olympic Gold Medalist swimmer Gary Hall and ice hockey star Bobby Clarke are 2 of countless athletes who also have diabetes.
Myth: If you have Diabetes, you shouldn’t get pregnant. BUSTED
fact: This may have been a truer statement a generation or more ago, but thanks to modern medicine it is much easier for women with Diabetes to have healthy and safe pregnancies. Pregnancy with Diabetes is not a light undertaking though.
Diabetic pregnancy is a commitment to near perfect blood sugar control and education about your Diabetes management.
Myth: You must snack. BUSTED
Do you eat snacks when you aren’t hungry?
fact: A while ago, there weren’t enough diabetes medications available to measure and monitor blood glucose. Today’s treatment options don’t require snacks between meals to prevent dropping. Too much snacking may also contribute to a difficulty slimming down or healthy blood sugar levels.
Myth: Anything sugar-free is safe to eat. BUSTED
fact: It is our responsibility to read labels and find other ways to appease your sweet tooth. Popular sugar-free pies and cakes, don’t mean they’re low calorie, low fat, or even low carbohydrate. Eat some sort of low sugar fruit; you’ll eat fewer carbs and have a higher nutrition value than most other desserts.
Myth: If you want to have a big meal, eat light the rest of the day. BUSTED
fact: Everyone wants a celebratory meal occasionally – but appetite overdrive is a side effect of Thanksgiving, birthdays, and anniversaries. Pre-diabetes, you may have gotten away with skipping breakfast or lunch to save calories for your splurge meal. How much and what you eat matters now. Flooding your system with more glucose than it can handle is dangerous.
Spread the love and the food, avoiding large quantities of food gives your body (and glucose levels) time to recuperate.
Myth: Diabetes comes from eating sweets…I got Diabetes, but I never ate sweets. BUSTED (ish)
fact: Almost everything that’s eaten gets converted into glucose (sugar). Those with type 2 diabetes need to place more importance on quantity than content. What T2 folk eat is not as important as how much you eat. Overeating adds calories the body doesn’t need for energy. The response your body takes is to convert the extra calories into fat.
Being overweight is a predisposing factor for developing diabetes.
Myth: Carbs and Sugars are what count; fat doesn’t matter. BUSTED
fact: Carbohydrates cause blood sugar to jump, but not fat. Therefore many people with diabetes ignore fat content of their meals. Dietary fat can be as big of a problem as sugar. Some studies even suggest saturated fat affects the body’s response to insulin, making blood glucose control even more difficult.
Eating stick margarine and packaged foods that contain partially hydrogenated oils, chicken skin, and animal fat (dairy and fried foods) – should either be a ‘No-No’ or a ‘On the rarest of occasions’.
Myth: Complications from Diabetes are unavoidable, no matter what you do. BUSTED
fact: Complications are not inevitable. We still aren’t sure why complications arise, or why they affect people differently. Although individuals still vary and are unpredictable, strict blood sugar regulation is the only method shown to reduce the risk of complications.
I am not a doctor; I have only gathered common myths and facts. Please consult your doctor before changing your lifestyle.
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Mayo Clinic | Lifescript.com | JDRF.org | DiabeticLivingOnline.com