Due in part to the misrepresentation of diabetes in the media, there seems to be an endless amount of myths attached to the disease. The amass of information about diabetes available should be enough to permanently debunk these myths, but as there’s so much to go there, here’s a quick breakdown of the most common diabetes myths and the facts that debunk them.
Type 2 Diabetes is Mild
There’s no such thing as a mild form of diabetes, especially if it’s not managed properly. Without proper care, Type 2 diabetes can lead to life-threatening complications. The keep to staying healthy with diabetes is to gain control over it.
And it Only Affects Overweight People
Yes, Type 2 diabetes is usually associated with obesity in the media, but that doesn’t mean it only affects overweight individuals. About 20% of people who have Type 2 diabetes are at their normal weight, even underweight in some cases.
Diabetics Should Only Eat Diabetic Foods
This is one of the most common myths of the past decade. Even though it’s best to avoid sugar, sweeteners, sugar alcohol and other harmful foods, diabetic specific food is usually expensive, can still affect your blood glucose levels and may cause side effects.
You’ll Go Blind and Lose Your Limbs
While diabetes is the leading cause for limb amputation and blindness, that’s less likely to occur if you control your blood pressure, weight, glucose levels and quit smoking. If you choose to lead a healthy lifestyle while battling diabetes, blindness and amputation are preventable.
Diabetics are Dangerous Drivers
Based on a vast generalization, the only fear when it comes to someone with diabetes driving is if they experience hypoglycemia. However, there are preventative measure diabetics can take if they suspect an episode might occur while behind the wheel.
They Shouldn’t Play Sports
Why not? It’s important that people with diabetes partake in their share of exercise in order to achieve a healthier lifestyle. While there are certain factors that should be considered depending on the sport, there’s no reason diabetics shouldn’t participate in sports.
There Aren’t Many Jobs for Diabetics
Having diabetes would prevent you from working the same jobs as non-diabetics. The job pool for individuals with the disease is pretty big. However, specific jobs that may negatively impact your condition are probably best left to other candidates.
You’re More Likely to Get Sick
Diabetics aren’t more likely to catch a cold or any other illness more so than someone without the disease. While diabetes can increase the severity of an infection or illness, it doesn’t make it easier to catch said infection or illness.
Diabetes is Contagious
You can’t catch diabetes from someone with the disease, as it’s a non-communicable illness. This means that if someone with diabetes sneezes, bleeds, coughs or touches you, it won’t be passed on. Diabetes can only be passed through genetics, from parent to child.
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