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October 24, 2016
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Diabetes Mythbusters (Part II)

(continued from Part I)

Myth 6.

"If you take insulin, or more than one type of insulin -- or you wear an insulin pump -- or you have to take pills and not-eat certain foods -- you have the 'bad kind' of diabetes."

  • Fact: There is no good kind of diabetes. Each type of diabetes has its challenges in maintaining relatively normal blood glucose levels. Each type of diabetes, left unchecked, can cause complications and death.
  • Fact: The really, really bad kinds of diabetes are diabetes that has not been diagnosed and diabetes that is not actively managed, whether by pills, insulin, and/or diet, and that is not well-monitored (by home glucose testing).
  • Fact: The best way to avoid "the bad kind of diabetes" is to get yourself checked. November is Diabetes Awareness Month, and many local schools, drugstores, and clinics will be holding free diabetes screenings. Please take advantage of these -- and if the screening shows you have diabetes, please see your doctor and make sure to take good care of yourself.

Myth 7.

"You can get diabetes by eating too much (or eating too much sugar, or too many refined foods, or...)"

  • Fact: While overeating can make you fat, and while fat cells can secrete hormone-like substances that interfere with normal glucose regulation, your diet is not the cause of your diabetes (but it can make your diabetes worse).
  • Fact: Many people who are fat or obese do not have, and never develop, diabetes.
  • Fact: Many people of normal weight, who have never been overweight in their lives develop Type 2 diabetes.

Myth 8.

Diabetes is a disease.

  • Fact: Diabetes is not communicable: you cannot "catch" diabetes from anyone (not even if you come into direct contact with that person's blood).
  • Fact: Diabetes is a syndrome that describes the body's inability to properly process glucose and regulate serum glucose levels.
  • Fact:There are several distinct medical conditions and metabolic disorders that can create the syndrome known as "diabetes".
  • Fact: You can inherit genes that make it more likely that you will develop diabetes, and that your siblings or children will develop the same type of diabetes.

Of course, if we put our minds to it, we could come up with many, many more myths about Type 1, Type 2, and every other Type of diabetes out there... What diabetes myths peeve you most -- and why?

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