Myths and Facts about Diabetes

There are millions of people all over the world who suffer from or are at a risk for diabetes. In this article, we will take a look on some of the myths and facts about diabetes. It helps you be more aware about diabetes. This surely would be an interesting read for you.

Myths and Facts about Diabetes

Myths and Facts about Diabetes:

Diabetes Myth #1: You Will Eventually Develop Type 2 Diabetes, if You are Obese or Overweight

Fact: Being overweight or obese can be a risk factor for developing diabetes. However, other risk factors like family history, age and ethnicity also play a crucial role. However, many individuals disregard the other risk factors for diabetes and think that their weight could only be the risk factor for diabetes. Most obese or overweight people never develop type 2 diabetes and many individuals with type 2 diabetes are at a normal weight or moderately overweight.

Diabetes Myth #2: Eating Excessive Amount of Sugar Causes Diabetes.

Fact: The answer to this is not very simple. Type 1 diabetes is caused by genetics and several unknown factors that trigger the onset of diabetes. However, type 2 diabetes is caused by genetics as well as lifestyle factors.

As per The American Diabetes Association, individuals must avoid taking sugar-sweetened beverages so as to help prevent diabetes, especially the type 2 diabetes. Fruit drinks, energy drinks, fruit punch, regular soda, sports drinks, sweet tea and other sugary drinks, etc. are some of the sugar-sweetened beverages you need to avoid. These will increase blood glucose and may provide several hundred calories in just one serving.

Diabetes Myth # 3: Individuals with Diabetes Must Eat Special Diabetic Foods

Fact: It must be noted that a healthy or special diabetic foods plan for diabetics is the same as a healthy eating for everyone; i.e. diet low in saturated and trans fat, moderate in sugar and salt, along with meals based on lean protein, whole grains, non-starchy vegetables, healthy fats and fruits. Diabetic foods, generally offer no special benefit and most of them still increase the blood glucose levels, and are also more expensive.

Diabetes Myth #4: Diabetes is Not That Serious Disease

Fact: One must take a serious note on the fact that diabetes causes more deaths in a year than breast cancer and AIDS combined together. Having diabetes nearly doubles your risk of having a heart attack. However, the good news is that though diabetes is a serious disease, it can be controlled and one can reduce the risk of the complications associated with diabetes.

Diabetes Myth # 5: You Should Eat Only Small Amounts of Starchy Foods like Potatoes, Bread and Pasta, if You Have Diabetes

Fact: Starchy foods can be a crucial part of a healthy meal plan; however, the portion size of the food is the key. Whole grains, pasta, cereals, rice and starchy vegetables such as potatoes, peas, corn, can be included in your meal and snacks. Along with these starchy foods, fruits, milk, beans, yogurt and also sweets can be the sources of carbohydrates that count in your meal plan.

Now, if you are wondering how much carbohydrate you need, then we must mention that it will vary based on many factors. So, you and your doctor can figure out the right amount for you. Once you are aware of how much carbohydrate you need to eat at a meal, choose your food and the portion size to match.

Diabetes Myth #6: Diabetes Can be Caught from Someone Else

Fact: The straight answer to this is NO. Although, we do not know exactly why some individuals develop diabetes, we know that diabetes is not contagious. It cannot be caught from someone else like a cold or a flu. There seems to be some genetic link in diabetes, especially in type 2 diabetes and also the lifestyle factors are to be counted.

Diabetes Myth #7: Individuals with diabetes cannot eat sweets or chocolates

Fact: Sweets and desserts can be eaten by people with diabetes, if consumed as a part of a healthy meal plan, along with proper exercise. There are no more “off limits” to individuals with diabetes than they are to people without diabetes. The key to sweet dishes is to have a very small portion.

Diabetes Myth # 8: Individuals with Diabetes are More Likely to Get Colds and Several Other Illnesses

Fact: You are no more likely to get cold or flu or other illnesses, if you have diabetes. However, individuals with diabetes are mostly advised to get flu shots, because any illness can make diabetes more difficult to control. It must also be mentioned that people with diabetes who get flu are more likely than others to go on to develop serious complications.

Diabetes Myth #9: As Fruit is a Healthy Food, You Can Eat as Much as You Wish Even if You Have Diabetes

Fact: It is very much true that fruit is a healthy food. It contains fiber and a lot of essential vitamins and minerals. You must include fruits in your healthy meal plan. But talk to your dietician about the amount you must take. You are not allowed to eat as much fruit as you want if you have diabetes. Fruits also contain carbohydrates that may increase your blood sugar level.

Diabetes Myth #10: In Case You Have Type 2 Diabetes and Your Doctor Says That You Require to Start Taking Insulin, it Means You are Failing to Take Care of Your Diabetes in a Proper Way.

Fact: For most individuals, type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease. When first diagnosed, many individuals with type 2 diabetes can keep their blood sugar at a healthy level by taking oral medications. But, overtime, the body gradually produces less and less of its own insulin and eventually insulin may be required along with oral medications in order to get healthy levels of blood sugar.

Diabetes Myth #11: Individuals with Diabetes Go Blind and Lose Their Leg

Fact: This is true that diabetes is a leading cause of blindness and also causes many amputations every year. However, those individuals with diabetes that control their blood pressure, glucose levels, body weight and quit smoking, all increase their chances of remaining free from the complications.

So, blindness and amputation are preventable and majority of individuals with diabetes will be able to avoid blindness and amputation, especially if annual diabetic health checks are attended by them every year.

Diabetes Myth #12: People with Diabetes are Dangerous Drivers

Fact: This is one of the strangest myths about diabetes. The main danger of driving for people with diabetes is in case hypoglycemia occurs. However, hypoglycemia can be preventable. Statistics show that diabetics are no less safe on the road than anyone else, with significant accidents being attributed to hypoglycemia, affecting less than 0.2% of drivers those are treated with insulin.

However, it is true that this myth is pretty much ongoing.

Diabetes Myth #13: Diabetics Should Not Play Sports

Fact: High-prominence diabetic sportsmen and women have disproved the myth that diabetics should not play sports. People with diabetes should take part in exercise so as to maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, it must be mentioned that some factors are worth considering before taking part in sport.

Diabetes Myth #14: Individuals with Diabetes Cannot Do Many Jobs

Fact: This is an absolute myth. Having diabetes, won’t stop you from having a job. However, armed forces is one profession, which may prevent individuals with diabetes from entering specific roles, like front line service; however many other positions will be accessible.

It is worth nothing that those with diabetes, cannot work.


With this discussion about myths and facts about diabetes, it must now be clear that you could take care of your diabetes in a better way by checking up these myths and the facts. Do, keep a regular consultation with your doctor, know about your weight, blood sugar level and other risk factors that can create more complications in diabetes and keep safe by checking on the risk factors and maintaining a healthy diet, healthy weight and a healthy lifestyle.

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:March 14, 2018

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