Diabetes myths and facts – Some more facts.
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If you have Type 2 diabetes you may hear lots of different information from various sources about managing your condition. But not everything you hear might be true! Here are some common diabetes myths that have been passed down, and the accurate information you need to know.
Myth: Diabetes isn’t a serious condition.
Fact: Diabetes is serious. It’s a progressive disease, so it will continue to develop if blood sugar levels are not stabilized. If you don’t manage it well, it can lead to serious health complications. Two thirds of people with diabetes end up dying from heart disease or strokes. Other complications include:
foot amputations, and
Myth: People diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes cannot lead active lifestyles.
Fact: This isn’t true – and actually, the opposite is true! Diabetics can and should be active as exercise lowers blood sugar levels and can help the body respond better to insulin. However, it is important to talk to your doctor before starting an exercise program. You want to make sure you know how to manage your blood sugar during and after exercise. You also will need to check with your doctor before starting an exercise program if you have complications such as eye disease or loss of sensation in your feet.
Myth: Diabetes is caused by eating too much sugar.
Fact: Not exactly. The cause of Type 2 diabetes is a combination of genetics and lifestyle factors. We do know being overweight is a major risk factor for developing Type 2 diabetes. And eating too much sugar – or eating too many calories in any form – causes obesity. Research has also shown consuming too much sugar in the form of sugar-sweetened drinks raises your risk of developing this form of diabetes. So, it’s a good idea to limit your intake of sugary drinks such as soda, fruit drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened tea.
Myth: Diabetics need to eat special “diabetic foods.”
Fact: Type 2 diabetics can eat the same healthy foods as anyone else. Meal planning is important for diabetics and will help ensure you limit the amount of simple sugars you eat. It also helps you eat the right portion sizes and spread out the type and amount of carbohydrate you eat throughout the day. Special diabetic foods don’t have extra benefits. Plus, they can be expensive, and they also can cause diarrhea if they contain sugar alcohols.
Myth: If you have to take insulin, it means you’ve failed managing your Type 2 diabetes.
Fact: Not necessarily. Since this form of diabetes is a progressive disease, it becomes worse over time. Your body can produce less and less insulin, or even stop responding to your body’s insulin. It’s important to manage your blood sugar through a healthy diet, exercise, and weight loss if needed. But even if you do a good job managing your blood sugar, you may still need to take insulin at some point, and it doesn’t mean you have failed.
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