5 Myths About Diabetes

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Posted by Jeff Durish

Tue, Nov 19, 2013

Did you know…?

November 14th was World Diabetes Day.

Here are some interesting (and saddening) statistics about diabetes from the Canadian Diabetes Association:

  • An estimated 285 million people are affected by diabetes worldwide.
  • An expected 438 million will have diabetes by 2030.
  • More than 9 million Canadian live with diabetes or prediabetes
  • Diabetes is a contributing factor in the deaths of approximately 41,500 Canadians each year.
  • By 2020, it’s estimated that diabetes will cost the Canadian healthcare system $16.9 billion a year.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom. As with many illnesses and diseases, education is one of the biggest forces in preventative medicine. There are many rumours floating around about the causes and affects of diabetes, and many of them are simply false. Did you know that the following five common statements about diabetes are, in fact, myths? The following article was published by Einstein Healthcare Network. You can read the original article here.

In honor of World Diabetes Day, Patricia C. Adams, RN, CDE, Program Coordinator of Einsteins Gutman Diabetes Institute, helps debunk five myths of diabetes:

Myth: Eating too much sugar causes diabetes.

Fact: The causes of diabetes are complicated. Type 1 diabetes involves genetics and other unknown factors that trigger the disease. Type 2 diabetes involves genetics and lifestyle. Either way, overeating in general leads to weight gain, which may lead to diabetes or other diseases.

Myth: People with diabetes need to eat special diabetic foods.

Fact: People with diabetes do not have to use specialty foods, but should learn how to build a healthy meal plan consisting of whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean proteins, as healthy eating benefits everyone.

Myth: People with diabetes can’t eat sweets or chocolate.

Fact: When eaten as part of a healthy meal plan, people with diabetes may include deserts and other treats. Adding increased physical activity to the diabetes treatment plan also improves success.

Myth: Diabetes is a fairly easy disease to manage.

Fact: People living with diabetes need to make choices throughout the day that could raise or lower their glucose (sugar) levels. Conflicting information makes those decisions more difficult and finding reliable information may be a challenge. People with diabetes are encouraged to build a team of professionals who work with them to establish a complete plan.

Myth: People with diabetes are more likely to get colds and other illnesses.

Fact: People with diabetes are not more likely to get colds or other illnesses. However, when they are sick, the diabetes may be more difficult to control. If someone with diabetes does become ill they must still follow their diabetes treatment.

Understanding diabetes helps to make better choices. The Certified Diabetes Educators (CDE) of the Gutman Diabetes Institute play an important role in diabetes management, providing both an accredited Diabetes Self Management Education program and a monthly Living with Diabetes support group. Classes at the Gutman Diabetes Institute follow national standards to assure you get the most reliable information.


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