Diabetes myths can be harmful, especially for the 11 million of Americans who live with diabetes. False information can be particularly dangerous for the additional millions of people who live with undiagnosed, untreated diabetes. Misconceptions can prevent people living with diabetes from getting the help they need. Whether you have diabetes, or know someone that does, here are 4 common diabetes myths…busted.
It’s true that a healthy diet and exercise regimen can significantly reduce the risk of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, but genetics also play a huge role. If your family has a medical history of type 2 diabetes, you’re at much higher risk than someone with no history.
It’s possible to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes without being overweight. An estimated 20% of people with diabetes are within a normal weight range. People of Asian descent in particular develop type 2 diabetes at body weights considered normal for people of European ancestry.
Diabetes is a leading cause of blindness, and also causes many amputations each year. However, those who properly manage their diabetes have a much better chance of avoiding complication. Maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking, monitoring glucose carefully, and taking medications as prescribed are all important ways to properly manage diabetes. Blindness and amputation are preventable for the wide majority of diabetics.
Every form of diabetes is serious. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes can both cause life threatening problems if not managed properly. It is true that people with type 2 diabetes can go undiagnosed much longer than people with type 1, but uncontrolled levels of high blood sugar can cause tissue damage throughout the body over time. Proper control of diabetes does decrease the risk of complications.
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