7 common myths about diabetes

Myth 1. Diabetes is not a "serious" disease. Fact: Diabetes causes more deaths than AIDS and breast cancer combined. Two out of three people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke. It can, however, be managed to prevent or delay problems from occurring. Myth 2. If you are obese, you will develop Type 2 diabetes. Fact: There are other factors in play, like genetic susceptability, ethnicity, and age. Myth 3. Eating too much sugar causes diabetes. Fact: Type 1 diabetes is genetic and caused by immune dysfunction, along with other less understood factors. Being overweight does lead to increased risk for diabetes, and eating too much sugar is correlated to becoming overweight, so it is recommended not to eat too much sugar. Myth 4. People with diabetes eat specific diabetic foods. Fact: Diabetics should eat a healthy diet, which is the same as a healthy diet for any other person. The most important thing is balancing foods and controlling portion size. Myth 5. You can "catch" diabetes from someone else. Fact: Though the causes of diabetes are not fully understood yet, this disease is definitely not contagious. Myth 6. People with diabetes are more likely to get ill. Fact: There is no change to susceptibility to illness, but diabetes is harder to manage when sick, so greater precaution should be taken. Myth 7. If your doctor tells you to take insulin, you have not been managing your diabetes properly. Fact: Type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease in most patients, and will often naturally get more difficult to manage as time passes.

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