As someone living with diabetes, we’re sure you come across a lot of unsolicited advice on what you should do to keep your blood sugar levels in check. While the people giving you this advice mean well, believing some of these can do more harm than good.
But don’t worry - we’re here today to dispel myths and give you facts, so next time you know what to and what not to believe.
Myth 1: Type 2 is a mild form of diabetes, so I don’t have to manage it.
Fact: Uncontrolled diabetes can put you serious risk for diabetes-related complications that affect different parts of your body. So don’t go thinking that you don’t need to manage it. You can reduce the risk of complications by eating healthy, exercising regularly, taking medicines on time and maintaining a healthy weight.
Myth 2: Being prescribed insulin means your diabetes is getting worse
Fact: Well, this is partly true. People with type 2 diabetes do not need insulin in the early stages. But over time, your pancreases don’t function efficiently, and tablets are not enough. This is when your doctor prescribes insulin. But don’t be disheartened - this does not mean your diabetes is getting worse. Also, you can live life to the fullest even while you are on insulin.
Myth 3: People with diabetes go blind
Fact: This is not true for everyone who has diabetes. While diabetes is a common cause of blindness, it usually happens due to long-term, uncontrolled blood sugar levels. You can prevent eye-related complications by keeping your blood sugar levels under control.
Myth 4: Diabetes runs in my family. I can’t do anything to prevent it.
Fact: Again, not true. 60% of cases of diabetes are due to lifestyle factors such as obesity, sedentary lifestyle, no exercise, unhealthy eating habits or even stress, and only 40% of cases are genetic1. But also, if it runs in your family, you can prevent diabetes by following a healthy lifestyle and maintaining a healthy weight.
1 Rashmi B. Prasad, and Leif Groop. Genetics of Type 2 Diabetes—Pitfalls and Possibilities. Genes (Basel). 2015 Mar; 6(1): 87–123. Published online 2015 Mar 12. doi: 10.3390/genes6010087 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4377835/