Diabetes is an easily misunderstood condition. There are misconceptions about who diabetes strikes, how the disease progresses, and whether it is curable. The diabetes myths that have staying power seem to be the biggest myths, and believing what isn’t true about diabetes can cost many people valuable time. Knowing the truth about diabetes helps you understand your risk factors, empowers you to take action, and makes it possible to maintain control of your health.
Myth #1: Eating too much sugar causes diabetes.
This isn’t a definitive fact. Yes, a lifestyle that includes too many sugary foods can make you overweight and can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, but genetics is also a factor. Sugary drinks in particular – soda, fruit juices, energy drinks – raise blood glucose and have a link to type 2 diabetes.
Myth #2: If you are overweight, you will eventually develop diabetes.
Being overweight is a risk factor for developing diabetes, but it is not the only risk factor. Family history plays a role, as well as age and ethnicity. It’s a combination of factors that ultimately determine your likelihood of developing diabetes.
Myth #3: You’ll never enjoy food again if you have diabetes.
While there are certainly some food restrictions that accompany a diabetes diagnosis, a simple healthy diet does not have to be at all restrictive. Smart portion sizes, particularly when it comes to carbs and sweets, make all the difference. You don’t have to deprive yourself because you have diabetes, but it is essential that you live with a nutritionally sound diet.
Myth #4: People with diabetes are more likely to get other illnesses.
Diabetes does not make you more susceptible to other illnesses. However, any illness has the potential to make diabetes more difficult to control. And diseases like the flu could turn into serious complications for a diabetic.
Myth #5: I’ll never get diabetes because I’m thin.
While the majority with type 2 diabetes are overweight, plenty of people at a healthy weight are at risk for developing diabetes. Normal-weight people with diabetes also have an increased risk of heart disease. Genetics, as always, plays a role, but so does having fat that clings to your abdominal organs and affects your insulin sensitivity.
Myth #6: If I am diagnosed with diabetes, I’ll have it forever.
Diabetes is a serious condition, and it is an underlying or contributing cause of over 300,000 deaths annually (American Diabetes Association). But diabetes is controllable. In fact, it is reversible. With an accurate diagnosis, the right support, and a willingness to change your lifestyle and behavior and banish diabetes medication that is only doing you harm, diabetes sufferers have a chance to alter their existence for the better.
Forget the Diabetes Myths: Take Control of Your Diabetes Now
Diabetes therapy is an arm of functional medicine that is dedicated to helping people overcome this chronic condition. Through a plan that is customized to improve your nutrition, maximize your exercise, improve your environment, reduce your dependence on medication, and encourage weight loss, you and your body have the power to reverse your diabetes diagnosis.
Don’t rely on diabetes myths for your education. Learn more about what’s possible for your health and your chronic condition. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Daniel Geck at the Restorative Wellness Center in Ann Arbor.