Myths About Diabetes
caused by eating too much sugar. Diabetes is not caused
by eating too much sugar. There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type
1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas completely stops producing any
insulin, a hormone that enables the body to use glucose (sugar) found in foods
for energy. Environmental triggers appear to cause the autoimmune disorder
in those individuals with a genetic predisposition to the disease, and it
isn’t caused by eating too many sweets.
2 diabetes, on the other hand, results when the body doesn’t produce
enough insulin and/or is unable to use insulin properly (this is also referred
to as ‘insulin resistance’). This form of diabetes usually occurs in people
who are over 40 years of age, overweight, and have a family history of diabetes,
although today it is increasingly occurring in younger people.
means you’re a "bad diabetic." If you have
type 1 diabetes, you must take insulin to survive once you’ve been
diagnosed—there is no other treatment for the disease,
and without insulin, people with type 1 will not survive.
with type 2 diabetes who eventually decide to go on insulin often do so because
it offers better control over blood glucose (sugar), which can ultimately mean
fewer complications associated with excess glucose in the bloodstream. If you
have type 2 diabetes, starting insulin treatment doesn’t mean you’ve done a
bad job—in fact, it can signal that you’re aware of the importance of good
glucose control, and realize that going on insulin will help you to continue to
exert that control.
you have diabetes, you can’t lead an active lifestyle.
This myth is particularly problematic because many long-term studies have shown
the positive impact regular physical activity has on lower glucose. Naturally,
any physical fitness program needs to be approved by your diabetes care team
prior to starting, but once you’ve settled into a program, being active and
healthy with diabetes is absolutely possible.
you have special concerns about your feet—for example, if you have charcot
foot or other muscular/skeletal problems—talk to your doctor about what
exercises to avoid so that you won’t aggravate pre-existing conditions.
Starting a very gentle yoga practice is also good for those interested in
starting a new, low-impact physical fitness routine. For
more on Diabetes and Yoga, click here.
insulin is painful. If you take insulin via injection, it
doesn’t have to hurt. Practice good injection technique and the experience
will be virtually painless. Andrea Penney, RN, CDE, of the
, offers this advice: "After selecting and cleaning an injection site,
firmly--but not tightly--pinch up an area about 2-3
inches wide. Inject at a ninety degree angle while the skin is pinched. Leave
the needle in while you relax the pinch. Then count to five slowly (count to ten
for the Lantus pen). Then remove the needle. Do not massage the area after the