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Myths About Diabetes by Jessica Mills

Jessica_white- smallThere are many misconceptions regarding diabetes that people have come to believe are true.  Listed below are some of the most common myths associated with the actual hard facts surrounding this misunderstood condition.

Myth: You can contract diabetes.

Truth: There are two major types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 is when the body completely stops producing insulin.  Type 2 is when the body produces an insufficient amount of insulin or when the body begins to build a resistance to the insulin.

Although the origins behind the development of diabetes vary, it is certain that diabetes is not contagious. It cannot be caught like a cold or the flu. Both types of diabetes are linked to genetics.  Type 2 is also most common in people over the age of 40 and who are overweight.

Myth: Eating too much sugar causes diabetes.

Truth: Eating foods high in sugar cannot make you diabetic.  However, being overweight may increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.  The correlation between sugary foods and diabetes is a high caloric intake, which ultimately can contribute to weight gain.  Research has also found a link between sugary drinks and type 2 diabetes.

Myth: You can’t live an active lifestyle with diabetes.      

Truth: Quite the contrary to what many believe, exercise is good for everyone — with or without diabetes. Exercise is especially beneficial to diabetics, as it helps manage weight and prevents excess body fat gain. It also helps in improving cardiovascular health, relieving stress, and the lowering of blood sugar levels. Physical activity is definitely encouraged but under correct instruction and direction from a doctor.

Myth: People with diabetes are more likely to get sick.

Truth: A person with diabetes is not more susceptible to illness. However, when a person with diabetes does become ill, it can be more difficult to control blood sugar levels as the body must work harder to fight off the illness.  Diabetics are strongly advised to get vaccinated during flu season for this reason.

Myth: Kids can outgrow diabetes.

Truth: Unfortunately, a child cannot outgrow diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the cells in the pancreas are completely destroyed, making it impossible for the body to produce insulin.  Until a cure is developed, type 1 diabetes will always require treatment.  In type 2 diabetes, improvement may be reflected in blood sugar levels after puberty or after healthier lifestyle changes have been made.

Understanding the facts about diabetes can help prevent stereotypes. The key components in managing diabetes is taking insulin, eating a well-balanced diet, exercising, and regularly checking blood sugar levels. Until a cure is found, use the tools that are available to manage diabetes.

Sources:

http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/myths/

http://www.joslin.harvard.edu/info/4_Myths_About_Diabetes.html

http://kidshealth.org/parent/diabetes_center/diabetes_basics/diabetes_facts_myths.html

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.