BUSTED: 5 Common Myths about Diabetes!
There are so many myths about diabetes, most of which are not true and could potentially cause harm. Read on to learn about some of the diabetes myths that our experts are ready to bust.
#1: It Is Not Safe to Exercise with Diabetes
A common myth is that it is not safe to exercise if you have diabetes. This is false! Everyone, including those with diabetes, should be exercising regularly. It is recommended that those with diabetes exercise 150 minutes per week, with 2 sessions of resistance and/or flexibility training. Long-term, this can lower your blood sugars, and decrease your risk for cardiovascular disease. There are a few safety parameters that those with diabetes should follow to ensure that they are being safe when exercising.
#2: I Can Stop Taking Diabetes Medicines Once My Sugars are Good
- Another thought that is commonly heard, is that if your blood sugars have been normal, you can stop all of your diabetes medications because you are cured. This one is a myth but has a small amount of truth to it. Those with Type 2 diabetes have the possibility of being cured. With a good amount of resistance exercises, cardio exercise, and a healthy diet, Type 2 diabetes can be reversed. You should never stop your own medications, but make sure to speak with your healthcare provider before making any changes.
- If your blood sugar is within range before you eat and you are a mealtime insulin user, you should still be taking your insulin so you can prevent any high blood sugars that will come from your meal. If you skip the insulin, you have a risk of having high sugars after the meal due to the food that you are about to eat. If you have low blood sugar, below 70 mg/dL prior to a meal, it is important to correct the low sugar first with 15 grams of carbohydrates, do not take insulin for this, and then once your sugar is above 70 you can then take your insulin and eat your regular meal. Make sure to talk to your provider about your specific doses on what you should do.
#3: Only Children Can Develop Type 1 Diabetes
A very common myth is that only children can get Type 1 diabetes, and adults can get Type 2 diabetes. This is not true at all. It is becoming more common for adults to be diagnosed with Latent Autoimmune Diabetes of Adulthood (LADA), which is an autoimmune disease similar to type 1 diabetes. This is the same for Type 2 diabetes as well. More and more kids and teens are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes due to increasing obesity rates.
There are tests that can be ordered by your providers that can let you know if you have specific antibodies shown in Type 1 diabetes. There are also tests that can be done to see how much insulin your body is making. These tests can help differentiate between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
#4: Type 1 Diabetes is the Most Severe Diabetes
BUSTED…any form of uncontrolled diabetes is what we would consider the most severe type. We tend not to look at what type of diabetes you have when assessing risks. We look at your A1C, blood pressure, and cholesterol and it can tell us how severe your diabetes is and if you are at a higher risk for complications.
#5: I Can’t Eat Carbs if I have Diabetes
Everyone needs carbohydrates since they act as fuel for your brain and muscles. There are certain types of carbs that are better than others, but everyone should have 40-50% of their daily calorie intake from healthy carbs. Healthy carbs are fruits and vegetables. Some examples are green beans, chickpeas, and carrots. To be considered healthy, it’s all about portion size and choosing the right type of carbs. Each meal should have 3-4 servings of carbohydrates, equaling about 45-60 grams. If you pair this with lean protein and a non-starchy vegetable, you have a balanced meal.
Summary Myths about diabetes do nothing but spread incorrect and possibly harmful information. We have BUSTED 5 commonly heard myths. Always check with your healthcare provider before making any changes to your regimen.