There’s a lot of information out there about diabetes. Yet, what’s true and what’s a myth about diabetes can confuse many people. Because diabetes can cause life threatening side effects, it’s important that you truly understand the difference between the facts and the myths.
Myth: Diabetes Is Always a Result of Being Overweight
Although a lot of people who develop type 2 diabetes are overweight, it’s not always caused by being overweight. Family history of diabetes is a big part of whether you will develop it. Also, having high blood pressure or not exercising enough can also lead to a person developing diabetes.
Myth: Diabetes Isn’t Serious and Can Always Be Controlled by Medication or Insulin
Often, people think diabetes isn’t serious since there are a lot of medications on the market to control it and because insulin exists to help people control their blood sugar. Sadly, this is a dangerous myth of diabetes. When diabetes is not properly controlled, people run the risk of developing neuropathy, going blind, having a stroke or heart attack, and could even fall into a coma and die. Neuropathy is extremely serious. It’s more than just the feeling of pins and needles in your extremities. It can actually mean that you have poor circulation, poor wound healing, and you could need an amputation. Medication or insulin aren’t the be-all and end-all decision on how people with diabetes should view their life or diagnosis.
Myth: Medication and Insulin Means Diabetics Don’t Need to Test Their Blood Sugar
This is another dangerous myth about diabetes. Even if you believe that your blood sugar is well controlled, you need to continue to test your blood sugar as directed by your doctor. Knowing whether your blood sugar is definitely under control can help both you and your doctor make better decisions for your treatment plan.
Myth: Exercising and Diabetes Don’t Mix
People with diabetes often think that they shouldn’t exercise. They may understand the importance of weight loss and healthier choices, but they worry about the effect that exercise will have on their blood sugar. Exercising doesn’t necessarily mean that your blood sugar will get too low. In fact, if you’re on insulin to control your diabetes, exercise is crucial. Your doctor can help you design an exercise routine that you can do at home or in a gym.
Myth: Diabetes Always Requires Insulin
When people are diagnosed with diabetes, they are worried that they will need insulin. Not every diagnosis of diabetes requires insulin. Diabetes can be caused by either a problem with insulin production and could also be caused by other factors such as weight gain and hereditary background. There are many medications on the market that are designed to help adults with diabetes get both their blood sugar and A1C under control. Also, many people can ultimately control their diabetes simply by lifestyle changes.
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