Five Diabetes Myths

5 Diabetes Myths — Debunked

In the US, over 37 mil­lion peo­ple have dia­betes, and over 96 mil­lion peo­ple have pre­di­a­betes. Despite being a rel­a­tive­ly com­mon con­di­tion, a lot of infor­ma­tion about dia­betes sim­ply isn’t true. 

Unlearn­ing mis­con­cep­tions about dia­betes is a key part of end­ing the stig­ma sur­round­ing it — and help­ing more peo­ple get the sup­port and treat­ment they need. 

Here are 5 myths about dia­betes — and the actu­al truths behind them. 

MYTH #1: If you have dia­betes, you already know you have it. 

When you fall and break your arm, it’s pret­ty obvi­ous that you’ve bro­ken a bone. You know to get it checked out, and you’ll be sure to take care of it while it heals. 

Some con­di­tions, like dia­betes, aren’t as obvi­ous as a bro­ken bone.

Dia­betes is a long-term (chron­ic) con­di­tion that affects your body’s abil­i­ty to process insulin. Insulin is a hor­mone that works to keep your blood sug­ar or blood glu­cose at a nor­mal lev­el. With­out it, your blood sug­ar can fluc­tu­ate between high and low lev­els and can cause seri­ous dam­age like heart dis­ease, kid­ney fail­ure, and vision loss.

Diag­no­sis for dia­betes is a key part of treat­ing your dia­betes, yet many peo­ple don’t even real­ize they have dia­betes. Because you can have dia­betes with­out even know­ing it, it’s crit­i­cal to stay on top of your annu­al well­ness visits. 

As a part of your rou­tine check-up, your provider will order a test of your A1C lev­el or your blood sug­ar start­ing around age 45 — or ear­li­er if your dia­betes risk is high­er. This sim­ple blood test is a great defense against dia­betes and pre­di­a­betes, giv­ing you and your provider impor­tant infor­ma­tion about your health. 

MYTH #2: If you are over­weight,” then you will get diabetes. 

Weight can be a sen­si­tive sub­ject for a lot of peo­ple, and you may wor­ry about how your weight impacts your risk of being diag­nosed with dia­betes. Your chances of hav­ing dia­betes can be impact­ed by your weight, but it is not the only fac­tor con­tribut­ing to your risk. 

You can be diag­nosed with dia­betes at any size, and no spe­cif­ic weight is a guar­an­tee that you will devel­op dia­betes. There’s more to whether you get dia­betes than just your weight, and a great way to low­er your risk for dia­betes is with reg­u­lar exer­cise and a healthy diet.

MYTH #3: Dia­betes is contagious. 

Unlike the com­mon cold or COVID-19, you can’t catch” dia­betes from some­one else. Experts aren’t entire­ly sure why some peo­ple get dia­betes instead of oth­ers, but it’s not some­thing that you can give to some­one like the flu. 

While dia­betes isn’t con­ta­gious, it’s pos­si­ble that genet­ics and lifestyle fac­tors play some kind of role. For instance, type 2 dia­betes tends to run in fam­i­lies — but that could be because of genet­ics or because of sim­i­lar envi­ron­men­tal factors.

Oth­er fac­tors, like poly­cys­tic ovary syn­drome (PCOS), can also make you more like­ly to devel­op type 2 diabetes. 

MYTH #4: Once you’ve been diag­nosed with dia­betes, you can’t ever enjoy sweet treats.

While sweets and desserts do con­tain sim­ple sug­ars that can increase your blood glu­cose lev­els, that doesn’t mean they are off the table for good. In real­i­ty, you can still enjoy a sweet treat — and there are many alter­na­tives you may not even realize. 

Your Duly Health and Care team can work with you to bet­ter under­stand your dia­betes and spe­cif­ic needs. They can help you focus on nutri­tion and pro­vide help­ful tips and tricks spe­cif­ic to your dia­betes management.

Remem­ber: You should always fol­low your health­care provider’s rec­om­men­da­tions about sug­ar intake and insulin usage — and your Duly team can help you deter­mine what’s best for you. Sched­ule an appoint­ment with a Duly Dia­betes Edu­ca­tor today.

MYTH #5: Being pre­scribed insulin means you’re not doing a good job man­ag­ing your diabetes.

Being diag­nosed with dia­betes can be over­whelm­ing, and you may feel like you have to do every­thing you can to man­age it. When you’re pre­scribed insulin, you may feel like you aren’t doing enough to keep your dia­betes under control. 

These feel­ings are nor­mal, but you don’t have to feel guilty. When your provider pre­scribes insulin, it does­n’t mean you’re not doing enough to man­age your con­di­tion. Instead, it just means that you and your provider are tak­ing an impor­tant step to help you live your health­i­est life. Just like you might take med­ica­tion for high blood pres­sure or a headache, insulin is a good tool to have in your dia­betes plan. 

Your Duly Team Can Help You Man­age Your Diabetes 

Man­ag­ing your dia­betes doesn’t have to be con­fus­ing, time-con­sum­ing, or anxiety-inducing. 

Your Duly care team is here to pro­vide you with the resources, treat­ment plan, and sup­port you need to feel con­fi­dent in your health jour­ney with diabetes.

Meet our Dia­betes Care & Edu­ca­tion team today. 

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  • I believe communication, active patient participation and empathy are important for good medical care. I seek to understand each patient's unique circumstances and include them in the decision process when determining a treatment plan.