Diabetes Awareness Month: Debunking Common Myths

November 14th is World Diabetes Day (WDD), a time when the global community comes together to raise awareness about this chronic condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It's an opportunity to learn about this condition, reduce stigma and promote better care and management of health. In this article, we'll explore some common myths and provide clear information to promote a better understanding of diabetes.

Ask your provider for a referral, visit Oregon Nutrition, Diabetes and Health Education Services | Providence, or call 855-360-5456 to get connected.

Myth #1: Diabetes is caused by eating too much sugar.

Fact: While excessive sugar consumption can contribute to diabetes, it is not the sole cause. Diabetes is a complex metabolic disorder that involves a combination of genetic, lifestyle, and environmental factors. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, and type 2 diabetes is often associated with factors like genetics, body size and less activity.

Myth #2: People with diabetes can't eat any sugar.

Fact: Individuals with diabetes can enjoy carbohydrates in moderation. Sugar can be found naturally in foods (fruit, milk) or added to foods. It's essential to manage carbohydrate intake, as carbohydrates have the most significant impact on blood sugar levels. Sugar is just one type of carbohydrate, along with starch and fiber. People with diabetes can incorporate carbohydrate-containing foods into their meal plans while balancing their overall carbohydrate intake and monitoring their blood sugar levels.

Myth #3: Only people in larger bodies get diabetes.

Fact: While living in a larger body is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, it doesn't mean that all people with diabetes are larger. Genetic factors play a significant role in diabetes development, and some individuals in smaller bodies may still develop the condition.

Myth #4: Insulin cures diabetes.

Fact: Insulin is an essential hormone for survival. For those living with type 1 diabetes in which their body no longer produces insulin, taking insulin is necessary. Some people with type 2 diabetes may need insulin as well, but it is not a cure for diabetes. Diabetes is a chronic condition, and individuals often need lifelong management, which may include insulin, oral medications, physical activity and stress management.

Myth #5: People with diabetes can't lead a normal life.

Fact: With proper diabetes management, individuals can lead full and active lives. Advances in medical technology and diabetes education have made it possible for people with diabetes to maintain health and pursue their goals. Diabetes should not hold anyone back from achieving their dreams.

Myth #6: Gestational diabetes is not a significant concern.

Fact: Gestational diabetes, which can occur during pregnancy, is a serious condition that can lead to complications for both the mother and the baby. It also increases the pregnant person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life and should be closely monitored and managed during pregnancy with regular screenings after pregnancy.

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