November is National Diabetes Month and today we are going to address some myths and misconceptions surrounding diabetes. As of 2015, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) revealed that diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. In fact, the ADA reports that about “1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year” with about 1,455,813 Pennsylvanians being affected by this disease. Diabetes is a serious disease that affects millions of people across the world. In honor of National Diabetes Month, here are seven diabetes myths and misconceptions to keep in mind so that you can be informed and lead a healthy lifestyle.
7 Diabetes Myths and Misconceptions
Myth #1: Diabetes only occurs in people who are overweight
Although Type 2 diabetes may occur in people who are overweight, there is no direct causation effect between the two variables.
- Fact: Diabetes is a disease that affects people whose body does not produce the proper amount of insulin. Type II diabetes occurs in people with different weights. Obesity can increase one’s probability of developing diabetes because it creates higher levels of glucose in the bloodstream. This results from the development of insulin resistance. However, there are multiple factors that cause diabetes such as genetics or specific genetic mutations.
Myth #2: Consuming too much sugar causes diabetes
Although the consumption of excess sugar can cause weight gain, a risk of developing diabetes, a high sugar intake does not necessarily mean that you will develop diabetes.
- Facts: There are multiple factors that contribute to the development of diabetes. These causes include certain dietary habits, family history, pregnancy, or medical conditions.
Myth #3: If you are diabetic, you can’t eat or drink sugar
Although it is not necessary to prohibit sugar from their diet, people with diabetes should maintain their sugar intake. Instead, diabetics should consume healthy sugars, which means that someone who is diabetic should avoid consuming foods and beverages with high sugar level. There are a variety of healthy sugars that diabetics can consume to maintain their glucose levels.
Myth 4: Diabetes will increase your chance of getting sick
Although diabetes can enhance the effects of your illness, it will not affect your probability of getting sick. People with diabetes will be more or less susceptible to colds and cases of flu, just like their non-diabetic counterparts.
Myth #5: Women with diabetes should not have children
Women who have diabetes can take preemptive measures to decrease complications during their pregnancy. Although there are risks with pregnancy, pregnant diabetic women can monitor their diabetes with proper dietary and medicinal habits.
Myth #6: People can tell whether or not their blood sugar level is high or low
A person cannot accurately detect whether or not his or her blood sugar level is high or low.
- Fact: People with long-term diabetes are more inclined to lose awareness of their blood sugar levels. In other words, they are more likely to lose their capability of identifying their symptoms. Aside from this, various symptoms may be mistaken for other medical conditions.
Myth #7: There is only one type of diabetes
There are about four types of diabetes.
- Fact: There are multiple types of diabetes such as prediabetes, Type I diabetes, Type II diabetes, and gestational diabetes. Prediabetes occurs when a person incurs high blood sugar levels but is not at a level that would be considered diabetes. Type I diabetes occurs from lack of insulin production, which results in excess glucose in the bloodstream. Type II diabetes occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin. Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that develops during the stages of pregnancy.
How many of these diabetes myths and misconceptions were you aware of? Are you interested in working as a physician to join the fight in the diabetes epidemic? Browse through our website for multiple career opportunities that can help you make a difference today!