Published on March 26, 2014

Myths About Diabetes

By Stephanie Marsau

Want to hear a startling statistic? According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes kills more Americans each year than breast cancer and AIDS combined. Possibly even more startling? It’s estimated that by the year 2050, 1 in 3 Americans will have diabetes.

Tuesday, March 25 was American Diabetes Association Alert Day, which is a one-day “wake-up call” asking the American public to take the Diabetes Risk Test to find out if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. It’s a quick, 60 second test, and can be taken here.

There are a lot of myths out there about diabetes, so in honor of Alert Day, some of those have been addressed below with the help of

Myth #1: Diabetes is caused by eating too much sugar.
There are two different types of diabetes – type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes is considered an autoimmune disease where the body attacks the cells of the pancreas, which prevents it from making insulin. People who suffer from this would be the people that have to give themselves insulin shots every day. People with type 2 diabetes have become resistant to insulin, or aren’t making enough—but there is still insulin being produced. These people may need some form of insulin replacement, but type 2 can be kept under control in most cases with lifestyle changes.

Myth #2: You need to lose a lot of weight to improve your diabetes, or lower your risk.
Losing just 7% of your body weight can offer significant health benefits.

Myth #3: Diabetes doesn’t run in my family, so I’m safe.
That may prevent you from getting type 1 diabetes, but family history is only one of several risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Others include being overweight and a poor diet.

Myth #4: Gestational diabetes doesn’t need to be taken seriously, as it will disappear after a woman gives birth.
Having gestational diabetes puts both the mother and the child at risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. In fact, 70% of women with gestational diabetes will develop type 2 in their lifetime.

Myth #5: People with diabetes need to follow a special diet.
People with diabetes benefit from the same healthy diet that is good for everyone else: plenty of whole grains, fruits, vegetables and a limited amount of fat and refined sugar.

About the Author

Stephanie MarsauStephanie is the Marketing Communications Coordinator at Mary Greeley Medical Center. A blogger for several years, Stephanie's goal is to present health information in an entertaining, but helpful way.

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