Body & Fitness

6 myths about diabetes, busted

Whether you’ve already been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you have pre-diabetes, or you just want to get your blood sugar under control, the key to managing diabetes is knowledge.
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As diabetes can be a complex condition, there are plenty of myths that abound.

We sort the facts from the fiction.

Myth: Eating too much sugar causes diabetes.

Fact: While excessive amounts of sugar can contribute to developing diabetes later on, it’s not the main factor. Diabetes is caused by many factors, including an unhealthy lifestyle, genetics and age.

Myth: You can’t reverse type 2 diabetes.

Fact: Happily, those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes can generally put their condition into remission. Making lifestyle changes, such as eating healthily, exercising regularly, reducing stress and getting enough sleep, can do a lot for managing your blood sugar levels.

Diabetes is also not contagious, although there does appear to be a genetic link with type 2 diabetes

Myth: Diabetes has no symptoms.

Fact: While some symptoms can be similar to those associated with getting older, paying attention to your body means you can catch any unusual signs early and start treatment. Symptoms include increased thirst and appetite, frequent urination, weight gain, tiredness and slow wound healing.

Myth: Thin people don’t get diabetes.

Fact: While type 2 diabetes is known as a ‘lifestyle disease’, thin people who have a sedentary lifestyle, experience a high level of stress or don’t eat well are also at risk. Slim people can also get type 1 diabetes.

Myth: You have to take insulin if you have diabetes.

Fact: While diabetes can be managed by insulin injections, many of those with type 2 diabetes can manage their condition through lifestyle changes and medication. However, if they’re unable to control their blood sugar levels with these interventions, then they may need insulin to help them manage their diabetes.

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Myth: Those with diabetes can’t eat sugar.

Fact: When those with diabetes have their blood sugar under control, whether through a balanced diet or medication, they can have sugar occasionally. It’s best to have sugar from natural sources, like fruit.

And on that note, diabetics can eat sweet fruit like mangoes, bananas, cherries and watermelon on occasion too. Fruit has essential nutrients and fibre, so it’s not wise to eliminate them from your diet completely.

Extra Fact: A healthy lifestyle can prevent up to 58 per cent of type 2 diabetes.

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