Being around diabetics for most of my life and having being diagnosed with diabetes very early on, I have understood a thing or two about the disease. I’m far from perfect when it comes to sticking to my diet and exercise routine but for the most part, I do manage my condition.
One thing I’ve realized about non-diabetic people is that they always seem to offer a lot of information on this disease without being properly informed. They advise you to the moon and back without knowing if that information is fact or not. Many people are often uneducated on this topic and pass around incorrect information and before you know it, you have a string of misconceptions about diabetes.
1) Diabetic people don’t know about their own disease – Everyone loves to lecture a diabetic on what they should or should not eat and what they should or should not do. Sorry to burst your bubble but we know how to manage our own lives.
2) Diabetes is not a serious disease – Diabetes increases your risks of heart and kidney disease and causes more deaths a year than breast cancer and AIDS.
3) Sugar consumption and weight causes diabetes. – Nope, a bad pancreas does. For type 1 diabetics, genetics and unknown factors contribute to diabetes. For type 2, genetics and lifestyle contributes but they aren’t they only contributing factors. Sugar leads to obesity and can heighten your chances of developing diabetes however their are many overweight people who do not have this disease as well as people who are in their weight range with type 2 diabetes.
4) Diabetic women shouldn’t get pregnant. – Well I’ve done it twice and had two successful pregnancies with vaginal delivery. As long as your glucose levels are well monitored and controlled, there isn’t anything you can’t do. I will elaborate more on healthcare for diabetic pregnancies in another post.
5) Gestational diabetes will end after giving birth – You may not be using insulin or prescribed pills to control your glucose levels anymore but that doesn’t mean you are off the hook. It’s better to practice diabetic eating habits and incorporate exercises into your daily life as mother and child both run a high risk of developing diabetes later in life.
6) “No one is diabetic in my family so that makes me safe” – Again, genetics is just one factor.
7) Possible to have slight diabetes – I hear people saying this all the time. There is no such thing. You either have it or don’t or run the risk of getting it. As long as there is a trace, you need to start treatment, even if it’s just diet and exercise.
8) Diabetics aren’t fit for driving and certain jobs – I was actually turned down for a job because I listed that I was on diabetic medication. Apparently being diabetic means I’m incompetent to perform in the workplace. This isn’t true by the way, you can do anything with controlled diabetes. The same goes for sports.
9) Can’t eat sweets – When I’m about to take a bite of something sweet and someones bring ups my diabetes, I feel like I want to punch a wall…with their face! Moderation is all. Sometimes you may even need it if your glucose levels are low. There was one time my glucose levels were 50 and I didn’t have anything sweet in my house. That’s more dangerous than you think.
10) Using Insulin means that you have failed as a diabetic and you are now dying – I swear, people think like this. Insulin is actually good for you and helps you to control your glucose levels very well. Insulin isn’t scary, it’s the sticking yourself part, but people get used to it.
11) Diabetes is an old person disease – Anyone at any age can be a diabetic
Hope that cleared some things up.