Diabetes is probably one of the most misunderstood diseases out there. Can it be caused by obesity and/or eating too many sweets? Is it true that diabetics can only eat certain foods? Is insulin always needed to control the disease? Here are four popular myths about diabetes debunked just for you.
Myth #1: Diabetes is caused by consuming too much sugar.
The truth: You may have heard that diabetes is brought on by eating too many sweets, but that isn’t the case. Type 1 diabetes is caused when the pancreas can no longer produce insulin, a hormone that’s necessary when it comes to regulating your blood sugar levels. Although the exact cause of type 1 diabetes is still unknown, it’s believed to be brought on by a variety of factors, including genetics and certain environmental triggers, such as toxins and viruses. Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, is caused when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin and/or is unable to use insulin properly.
Myth #2: Monitoring your blood sugar is painful.
The truth: It doesn’t have to be! If you experience pain while testing your blood sugar levels, then it’s time to make some simple changes in your everyday routine.
Myth #3: Obesity causes diabetes.
The truth: Yes, it’s true that being obese increases your risk for developing diabetes, but other factors, such as family history play a role as well. According to the American Diabetes Association, the majority of overweight people never develop type 2 diabetes, and many people with type 2 diabetes are either at a normal weight or only slightly overweight.
Myth #4: All diabetics need insulin.
The truth: Not so! While this is true for type 1 diabetes, many people with type 2 diabetes are able to control their condition by leading a healthy lifestyle that involves a proper diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables and low in starches, saturated fats, sugar and sodium, healthy habits (no smoking), regular exercise and taking any doctor-prescribed medication(s).