Jessica is a medical writer with an unquenched thirst to discover something new. She believes that medical content should be accessible to everyone and strives to write content that every single person can understand. When Jessica isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading a book with a dog cuddled in her lap. Jessica has a Masters of Engineering degree in Biomedical Engineering.
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Amy is a Board Certified Family Health Nurse Practitioner (FNP) with over 15 years of experience working in Hospital Medicine, Urgent Care and Primary Care practices. Amy graduated Thomas Jefferson University with high distinction earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2008, a Master of Science in Nursing in 2010 and a Post Master's Certificate in Adult Gerontology Acute Care (AGAC) in 2014. She was recognized by the Elite American Nurses Association in 2013 for her dedication, achievements and leadership in the field Nursing. She served as a clinical preceptor for a number of Nurse Practitioner students and enjoys teaching the bright minds of future NPs.
Diabetes is becoming more prevalent all around the world. You may have it yourself or know someone who does. The issue is that many myths about diabetes are floating around that need to be addressed sooner rather than later.
The more you know and better you understand it by way of dissecting the following diabetes myths, the better it can be recognized, treated, and the more empowered you’ll feel if you have it.
Table of Contents
- Diabetes Myth 1: If You Are Overweight You Will Develop Diabetes
- Diabetes Myth 2: Diabetes Is Purely a Genetic Disease
- Diabetes Myth 3: Eating Sugar Causes Diabetes
- Diabetes Myth 4: If You Have Diabetes You Can’t Eat Sugar
- Diabetes Myth 5: You Can’t Exercise When You Have Diabetes
- Diabetes Myth 6: Diabetes Is Contagious
- Diabetes Myth 7: Diabetes Is Not Serious
- Diabetes Myth 8: Diabetes Will Make You Go Blind
- Diabetes Myth 9: You Can’t Drink Alcohol With Diabetes
- Diabetes Myth 10: Diabetes Can Be Cured
- How Can DrHouse Help You?
Diabetes Myths and Facts
You may know what diabetes is generally speaking or have heard the term but maybe you don’t understand it in detail and are curious about what false information you believe as it stands today. You’ve come to the right place to learn more and have all your questions answered.
Below are some of the top and most common diabetes myths and facts so you can become more knowledgeable on this topic and help inform and correct others who may be mistaken or hold false beliefs.
Diabetes Myth 1: If You Are Overweight You Will Develop Diabetes
One diabetes myth or false misconception is that obesity always leads to diabetes. In other words, if you’re overweight then you will eventually develop diabetes. The truth is that while obesity and being overweight can increase the risk of getting diabetes, it’s not inevitable that an obese person will have diabetes.
Diabetes Myth 2: Diabetes Is Purely a Genetic Disease
There are different types of diabetes. When referring to type 2 diabetes, the cause of it is a combination of environmental and genetic factors. There are links to several gene mutations which are associated with a higher risk of diabetes. However, not every person who carries the mutation gets diabetes. It’s not caused by genetics but if a parent or sibling has it then you are generally more likely to develop diabetes yourself.
Diabetes Myth 3: Eating Sugar Causes Diabetes
The third myth about diabetes is that eating sugar causes diabetes. There is no direct cause of eating sugar and getting diabetes. However, eating a lot of sugar can lead to being overweight and obese which are risk factors as it relates to type 2 diabetes. There have been links between drinking soda regularly and increasing your risk of type 2 diabetes, however.
Diabetes Myth 4: If You Have Diabetes You Can’t Eat Sugar
Myth 4 assumes that people with diabetes can’t eat sugar. This is not true but if you have diabetes then you do need to closely monitor your diet. You can still incorporate treats into your diet but you do need to manage your carbohydrate intake, which is most important.
Diabetes Myth 5: You Can’t Exercise When You Have Diabetes
You may have also heard the myth that people with diabetes can’t exercise or be active. This is completely untrue and it’s really quite the opposite. A person with diabetes is encouraged to exercise to better manage diabetes. Being active can help the body use insulin better, reduce blood pressure, and help ignite weight loss.
Diabetes Myth 6: Diabetes Is Contagious
Are you wondering if diabetes is contagious? Science confirms that diabetes is not contagious in that it is a non-communicable disease. You should also realize that being diagnosed with it is never your fault.
Diabetes Myth 7: Diabetes Is Not Serious
Another myth to debunk about diabetes is that it is not considered serious. Although common, it is incorrect to assume that diabetes is not a serious disease. Many complications can arise if you or someone who has it doesn’t manage it properly.
Diabetes Myth 8: Diabetes Will Make You Go Blind
Some people assume that in all cases diabetes will lead to blindness. This is also a myth. In some cases, it can lead to you going blind but it isn’t always the result by any means. This type of outcome is rare if you carefully manage your diabetes.
Diabetes Myth 9: You Can’t Drink Alcohol With Diabetes
The recommendation if you have diabetes and want to drink alcohol is to always drink in moderation. The majority of people who have diabetes can enjoy some amount of alcohol. It’s also important to know how your drinking and alcohol affects your blood sugar as sugary drinks may spike your blood sugar, and in some cases, excess alcohol can decrease your blood sugar level.
Diabetes Myth 10: Diabetes Can Be Cured
There is no cure for diabetes. Therefore, it is incorrect to say that diabetes can be cured. Diabetes and the condition can also change and progress over time depending on the person. If you have diabetes now you may not require medication but it’s possible you could in the future. The best course of action is to live a healthy lifestyle and adopt healthy eating habits, exercise regularly, go to your doctor’s appointments, educate yourself about diabetes, and find the right support or support groups.
How Can DrHouse Help You?
If you believe you have diabetes and would like to speak with a doctor or healthcare provider about your symptoms or current health then we can help. With DrHouse, you can consult with a board-certified healthcare professional in 15 minutes or less.
We eliminate the hassle that comes with having to schedule an in-person visit and sit in a waiting room. Instead, you can get in touch with our board-certified clinicians now and start the conversation about your health and diabetes, and let us offer you the best possible treatment options.
There are many myths about diabetes floating around out there that people assume are true. However, you now have more information and insight into some of the most common diabetes myths and the truth about diabetes.
You should feel more informed and motivated to share what you’ve learned with others so that everyone can become more educated on the matter. It’s important that if you or someone you know has diabetes that you speak with a doctor right away and are treated so you can properly and successfully manage your diabetes.
- Rai M, Kishore J. Myths about diabetes and its treatment in North Indian population. Int J Diabetes Dev Ctries. 2009;29(3):129-132. DOI: https://www.doi.org/10.4103/0973-3930.54290.
- Kanungo A. Myths about type 1 diabetes: Awareness and education. Indian J Endocrinol. Metab. 2015;19(Suppl 1):S24-S25. DOI: https://www.doi.org/10.4103/2230-8210.155362.
- Meece J. Dispelling Myths and Removing Barriers About Insulin in Type 2 Diabetes. The Diabetes Educator. 2006;32(1_suppl):9S-18S. DOI: 10.1177/0145721705285638.
- George A. Bray; Barry M. Popkin. CURRENT CONCEPTS OF TYPE 2 DIABETES PREVENTION| MARCH 08 2014 Dietary Sugar and Body Weight: Have We Reached a Crisis in the Epidemic of Obesity and Diabetes?: Health Be Damned! Pour on the Sugar. Diabetes Care 2014;37(4):950–956. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2337/dc13-2085.
- Shah, V.N., Garg, S.K. Managing diabetes in the digital age. Clin Diabetes Endocrinol 1, 16 (2015). Available from: https://doi.org/10.1186/s40842-015-0016-2.
- Malik, V.S., Hu, F.B. Sweeteners and Risk of Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes: The Role of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages. Curr Diab Rep 12, 195–203 (2012). Available from: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11892-012-0259-6.
- Paterson, B.L., Thorne, S. and Dewis, M. (1998), Adapting to and Managing Diabetes. Image: the Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 30: 57-62. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1547-5069.1998.tb01237.x.
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