Diabetes impacts 29.1 million people in the United States, but the disease is still often misunderstood. During Diabetes Awareness Month, Adventist HealthCare Diabetes Educator, Michele McBride, looks at the common myths and misconceptions when it comes to diabetes.
- Insulin causes complications. This comes from the fact that some people wait too late to go on insulin and some complications have already set in that are not reversible. Therefore the insulin gets the blame. Insulin is the best tool in our toolbox for diabetes management! It’s simply hormone replacement therapy.
- Cut out all carbs. Carbohydrates are our bodies preferred fuel source and should not be cut out altogether. Carbohydrates are necessary for a healthy diet. We need to learn how many carbohydrates to have with meals and snacks for better blood sugar management.
- Type 1 diabetes is the BAD one! This probably comes from the fact that Type 1s have to inject insulin and most Type 2s object to insulin. Type 1 diabetes is not worse than Type 2 diabetes. In fact, they are managed pretty much the same and the complications are the same. Type 1 diabetics are more often proactive about their diabetes and tend to know about their bodies better than some Type 2s. It’s a way of life for them.
- Eating too much sugar or causes diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, Type 1 diabetes is caused by genetics and unknown factors that trigger the onset of the disease; Type 2 diabetes is caused by genetics and lifestyle factors. While a nutritious and balanced diet is always preferred, simply eating too much sugar does not cause diabetes.
- I have Type 2 diabetes, if I go on insulin, I’ll never get off of it! While this might be true for some Type 2s who have had diabetes for many years, this is not true for all. Sometimes in Type 2 diabetes an initial course of insulin could “rest” the pancreas and allow the body to normalize blood sugar to the point that oral medications can be used. With proper diet and exercise to help maintain good management, a person with Type 2 diabetes could stay on oral medication for many years.
Diabetes education is crucial to anyone with diabetes. Sometimes it needs to be repeated during the person’s lifetime. It is generally covered by insurance, and some free programs exist for those under resourced.
The diabetes educators at Adventist HealthCare are ready to teach you how to live your best life with diabetes! Learn more by visiting our Diabetes Education Program.
During Diabetes Awareness Month, take a free Diabetes Risk Assessement for a chance to win a $250 whole foods gift card!