In case you’re a little in the dark about diabetes, the educators from St. Mark’s Diabetes Center address four common – and negative – misconceptions about diabetes to set the record straight.
Misconception #1: Being diagnosed with diabetes is your fault if you eat poorly or are overweight.
Truth: People of all ages, shapes, and sizes can get diabetes. Having diabetes just means that the pancreas does not make enough insulin to pull the extra blood sugar out of the blood. This can happen for a variety of different reasons. However, once someone has diabetes, eating poorly can make it harder to control.
Misconception #2: People with diabetes should avoid all sugar and starchy foods.
Truth: Avoiding such foods is not a solution to controlling blood sugars and actually disrupts metabolism. It is important for individuals with diabetes to control their portions of sugar and starches, as should everyone.
Misconception #3: Diabetes will inevitably cause complications or death.
Truth: Diabetes can be well-controlled and almost all complications are preventable, as long as blood sugars are kept in the target range. Complications of diabetes only come from uncontrolled blood sugars (highs or lows). People with diabetes can live long and healthy lives.
Misconception #4: Insulin makes diabetes worse.
Truth: Insulin is a wonderful, life-saving medication that can be used in any type of diabetes. It is the one sure way to get blood sugar down if it is too high, but oftentimes patients – and even some providers – are hesitant to use it and wait until damage has occurred. Insulin injections are preferred in some cases because it is the closest thing to your body’s natural control system for blood sugar, and it can be personalized to exactly the right dose for the person that needs it.
Now you can help stop misguided or incorrect perceptions about diabetes. Remember to check reputable sources for up-to-date information and keep in mind that no one’s diabetes care plan is the same. If you would like more information about diabetes, visit the St. Mark’s Diabetes Center website.