Diabetes myths and facts 16 January 2017 Myths about diabetes; what are the facts? There are many myths about diabetes that are often reported as facts; we debunk the most common myths to give you the true story. 1. Myth: Diabetes is caused by eating too much sugar Fact: Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease and type 2 diabetes is caused by genetics and lifestyle factors. While sugar doesn’t cause diabetes it can contribute to obesity which is a major risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes. 2. Myth: You have to lose a lot of weight to improve your diabetes Fact: Losing around 5% of your total body weight can improve your diabetes control and have great benefits to your overall health. 3. Myth: It is possible to have a ‘touch of diabetes’ Fact: There is no such thing as a ‘touch of diabetes’. You cannot be ‘a touch pregnant’. Everyone with diabetes has a risk of developing long term complications if they have poor control. 4. Myth: People with type 2 diabetes who need to commence on insulin then become a person with type 1 diabetes Fact: Many people with type 2 diabetes can eventually require insulin injections to control their diabetes. It does not mean you have type 1 diabetes, you still have type 2 diabetes requiring insulin. 5. Myth: People with diabetes need to follow a special diet Fact: People with diabetes benefit from eating a healthy diet that includes a wide variety of foods. It is not only good for people with diabetes but everyone in the community. 6. Myth: Diabetes is not a serious condition Fact: Diabetes can have both short-term and long-term complications that can potentially have an impact on your quality of life. Keeping your diabetes in control will reduce the risk of complications. 7. Myth: People with diabetes can’t play sport Fact: Physical exercise is important for everyone’s health and especially for people with diabetes. Regular exercise helps lower blood glucose levels and benefits overall health. 8. Myth: People with diabetes will be able to control their blood glucose levels all the time Fact: A person with diabetes may experience high and low blood glucose levels, even if they are doing everything right. Illness, pain, medication, travel, food, exercise and stress can all effect blood glucose levels. 9. Myth: People with diabetes can always feel when their blood glucose levels go too low Fact: Not always. Some people may not recognize or feel when they are going low and this can be dangerous. It is important to discuss this with your diabetes team if you don’t know when you are having a low or ‘hypo’.