November 30, 2015

Type 2 Diabetes Myths and Mistakes – Part 2

This is continued from the previous blog.

#7. Diabetes means having to give yourself shots, and I can’t stand needles. Only people who are on injectable medications need to deal with needles. Today there are insulin pens that don’t require you to inject yourself and blood glucose meters that make drawing blood painless. Plus, there are many new medications that control diabetes without needles or risk of low blood glucose reactions.

#8. Eating too much sugar causes diabetes. Diet does not cause diabetes, although there is recent evidence that drinking many sugared drinks can increase your risk of developing diabetes if you are already at risk. And while sugar per se does not cause diabetes, it does contribute to obesity, which is a major cause of diabetes. Obese people tend to eat many sweets. But they also eat a lot of junk food and other high-calorie foods. Sugar is bad for diabetics because it elevates blood glucose, but so are foods that break down quickly into glucose in the blood, such as plain pasta, bread, noodles, and white rice.

#9. I know when my sugar is high or low. You can’t rely on how you’re feeling when it comes to your blood glucose level. You may feel shaky, lightheaded, and dizzy because your blood glucose is low, or you may be coming down with the flu. You may urinate a lot, because your blood glucose is high, or because you have a bladder infection. The longer you have diabetes, the less accurate those feelings become. The only way to know for sure is to check your blood level.

#10. People with diabetes can’t eat sweets. There is no reason type 2 diabetics can’t eat sweets as part of their healthy meal plan. When eaten in small portions or as a special treat, diabetics can eat whatever they want. The problem is that most of us eat too much of what we like. Diabetes doesn’t mean you can never have a piece of cake again, just a smaller piece, and you’ll have to be careful about what you eat with that piece of cake. Dessert a couple of times of a month is OK, but not every night.

#11. You are more likely to get colds or the flu if you have diabetes. Diabetes does not make you more vulnerable to contagious illnesses. However, you should get your flu shots, because diabetics are more likely to suffer serious effects from the flu.

#12. If you are put on insulin that means you didn’t take proper care of your diabetes. When you’re first diagnosed, your blood glucose may be controlled adequately by diet, exercise, and/or oral medications that help your body absorb glucose. Eventually, however, your pancreas may stop producing enough insulin. At this point you will need insulin injections. This is not your fault, but simply what happens as we age as the disease ages with us.

I had not heard or seen all of the items in the two blogs, but in talking with others, there could be many more. The misinformation often becomes accepted by people without diabetes and this often makes it more difficult for people who become diagnosed with diabetes.

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