Diabetes Myths, Misconceptions, and Big Fat Lies
by Kris Swenson, RN, CDE and Betty Brackenridge, MS, RD, CDE. Copyright © 2002 by Diabetes Management and Training Centers, Inc.
Excerpted with permission of the publisher, Diabetes Management and Training Centers, Inc.
To purchase this book, please visit www.diabetestraining.com
NOTE: Excerpts are provided on dLife.com for informational purposes only. The information contained within will not be updated by dLife and may be outdated. Please consult your doctor before acting on anything described here.
Myth: I should be able to take diabetes in stride.
Truth: Diabetes isn't a walk in the park. Most people struggle with it to some degree. That's not surprising. After all, managing diabetes takes time, money, and a lot of hard work. In addition, our tools are far from perfect so that even the most constant effort often gives variable results. And it's always there. It's no wonder that most people get frustrated and burned out at times.
Sometimes you'll "take it in stride." Other times you won't. That's normal and expected.
Myth: High blood sugar means I've done something wrong.
Truth: High blood sugar doesn't mean you've done anything wrong. It means only one thing: your insulin supply didn't meet demand. A lot of things can cause that. Some of them are in your control. For example, what you eat. Taking your medicine as directed. Being active. And some of them are NOT. Stress or illness. Being on the wrong medicine or dose. Unpredictable insulin production or absorption.
When your blood sugar is high, try not to waste energy blaming yourself. Instead, work to figure out hot to improve things.
Myth: People with diabetes should eat "sugar fee" foods.
Truth: You don't need ‘sugar-free" foods to control BG. In fact, many ‘sugar free" foods raise blood sugar, just like other foods that contain carbohydrate. Read the Nutrition Facts label. Find the Total Carbohydrate in the amount you eat. Compare it to the carbohydrate in the normal version of the food.
Many "sugar free" foods have as much carb as the regular sweets they replace. And they often cost more too. The only way to tell if any food is working for you is to test your blood sugar after eating it.
Myth: Insulin shots hurt a lot.
Truth: Today's best pen needles and syringes cause virtually no discomfort. In fact, after their first shot most people say something like, "Is that ALL?" It's a far cry from old memories of painful penicillin, tetanus, or flu shots.
Some people are so afraid of the very idea of shots that they put off starting insulin, even when they really need it. The best way to conquer this fear is to take a shot. You'll probably feel, like most, that it's nearly painless. Shots shouldn't actually hurt. If they do, get help. Fear, poor technique or outdated supplies may be the problem.
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I have a friend, M, who has diabetes and never, ever tests her bloodsugar before she gets behind the wheel. This has always worried me about her. On Wednesday, she had a bad accident after passing out behind the wheel. She hit another car head on. I thank the universe that no one was killed, but she and the driver of the other vehicle were both badly injured. She's got a long healing road ahead of her, as does the woman she hit. I was talking about the...