Diabetic Myths

By Bill Kray

November is American Diabetes Month

To support diabetes awareness, we are discounting diabetes posters. You may also order them as a 3-in-1 Frame set.

For Diabetes Awareness Month, the ADA is promoting the Diabetic Mosaic. They are asking patients to submit their own photo of a day in the life of diabetes. Some images uploaded so far reveal children giving themselves injections, adults undergoing dialysis or more positive snapshots like exercising and eating properly.

  1. Myth: I have borderline diabetes or just a touch of diabetes.

    Fact: Either you have it or you don't. Two fasting blood sugar readings over 126 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or 7 millimoles per liter (mmol/L); a random blood glucose over 200 mg/dL (11.1 mmol/L); or an A1C of 6.5 percent or higher are all considered diabetes.

  2. Myth: Overweight or obese eventually develop type 2 diabetes.
  3. Fact: Being overweight is a risk factor for developing this disease, but other factors such as family history, ethnicity and age also play a role.

  4. Myth: Eating too much sugar causes diabetes.

    Fact: The answer is not so simple. Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) is caused by genetics and unknown factors that trigger the onset of the disease. Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) is caused by genetics and lifestyle factors. The ADA recommends that people should limit their intake of sugar-sweetened beverages to help prevent diabetes.

  5. Myth: If you have diabetes, you should only eat small amounts of starchy foods, such as bread, potatoes and pasta.

    Fact: Starchy foods can be part of a healthy meal plan, but portion size is key. Whole grain breads, cereals, pasta, rice and starchy vegetables like potatoes, yams, peas and corn can be included in a diabetic's meals and snacks. Carbohydrates should be approximately 50 percent of your daily food intake. However, you may need more or less carbohydrates at meals depending on how you manage your diabetes.

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

    Fact: If eaten as part of a healthy meal plan, or combined with exercise, sweets and desserts can be eaten by people with diabetes.

  7. Myth: If you have type 2 diabetes and your doctor says you need to start using insulin, it means you're failing to take care of your diabetes properly.

    Fact: For most people, type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease. When first diagnosed, many people with type 2 diabetes can keep blood glucose at a healthy level with oral medications. But over time, the body gradually produces less of its own insulin, and eventually oral medications may not be enough.

Type 2 diabetes is initially managed by increasing exercise and dietary modification. If blood glucose levels are not adequately lowered by these measures, medications such as metformin or insulin may be needed. In those on insulin, there is typically the requirement to routinely check blood sugar levels.

Bill Kray

Los Angeles, United States

Vegetarian health advocate, graphic designer, illustrator, programmer and prolific blog writer.

You may purchase anatomy posters from ClinicalPosters.com.