FUDiabetes

Myths surrounding Diabetes

Here are some common myths concerning Diabetes. Feel free to add to the list!

Myth: As far as diseases go, Diabetes isn’t that serious!

Fact: Diabetes kills more people each year than breast cancer and AIDS combined. Having this disease also nearly doubles the chances that you’ll have a heart attack. However, with good control, you can reduce the risks for any complications. As with many other serious diseases, much of the death rate resulting from diabetes is directly caused by diabetes complications rather than by the disease itself.


Myth: If you’re overweight/obese, you’ll end up with 2 diabetes.

Fact: Although being overweight is, indeed, a risk factor, it’s not the only risk factor. Other factors such sa family history, age and ethnicity also play a role. There are plenty of people of normal weight or only slightly overweight who develop Type 2 Diabetes. There are also plenty of overweight people who never develop Type 2. It’s important to focus on all risk factors when considering likelihood of developing Type 2.


Myth: You can’t be a Type 1/must be a Type 2 diabetic if you’re an adult/ overweight.

Fact: Type 1 is defined as an autoimmune destruction of pancreatic beta cells. The number of adults being diagnosed as Type 1 has been increasing. The incidence of T1D in adults is lower than in children, and it is estimated that approximately a quarter of persons with T1D are diagnosed as adults. Weight is not a determining factor when differentiating between Type 1 and 2.


Myth: Intake of too much sugar is what causes Diabetes.

Fact: If only the answer were this simple. Although scientists are still in the discovery phase for what exactly causes Type 1, it is believed that this diabetes is either genetically inherited, caused by environmental factors, results from the bodies own reaction to some previous illness, or other unknown factors that trigger the onset of the disease; Type 2 Diabetes is both genetically inherited and also from lifestyle decisions.

Research has proven, however, that drinking drinks high in sugar content, is linked to type 2 diabetes. The American Diabetes Association recommends that people avoid drinking sugar-sweetened beverages to help thwart diabetes. Sugar-sweetened beverages include beverages like sodas, fruit energy and sport drinks, sweet tea, and any drink high in sugar content. These drinks are high in calories and will usually cause a blood glucose spike.


Myth: Diabetics should eat diabetic food.

Fact: Eating a well-balanced meal is vital for anyone, diabetic or not. A healthy meal can be recognized if it meets the following criteria:
- low in saturated or trans fat
- low to moderate in sodium and sugar
- lean protein
- non-starchy vegetables
- whole grains
- fruits
- healthy fats

Special “diabetic food” offers no special benefit. A diabetic’s blood glucose level will still rise just as with normal foods, and usually these niche market foods are more expensive and can also have a laxative effect if they contain sugar alcohols.


Myth: Diabetics should only eat small amounts of starchy foods such as breads, potatoes and pastas.

Fact: Portion size is the key to these types of foods. Although starches are part of a healthy meal plan, too much of these foods are not good for anyone, but especially for someone with diabetes. Foods such as whole grain breads, pasta, cereal as well as starchy vegetables such as potatoes, peas, corn and yams, in moderation, and appropriately dosed with insulin (if you are on insulin), can be a part of a diabetic’s regular diet.


Myth: People with diabetes cannot eat chocolate or other sweet foods.

Fact: Diabetics can eat anything in moderation. If eaten as part of a healthy meal plan and combined with proper exercise and proper insulin dosage (if you are on insulin), there is nothing wrong with any food, including chocolates and other sweet foods. There is no such thing as an “off limit” food where diabetics are concerned. They key, however, is moderation. On the other hand, some diabetics may decide, for the purpose of making blood glucose control easier, to follow tight diet requirements with heavy restrictions on carbohydrates. The diet to follow is a decision to be made by each diabetic - it is not imposed by diabetes.


Myth: A diabetic must follow a strict, no sweets, no salt and no fat diet

FACT: Absolutely not! If you are diagnosed as a diabetic, will you need to make some changes to your dietary choices? That depends upon your diagnosis, your blood glucose targets, your physician’s orders, your food preferences, etc.

An insulin-dependent Type 1 diabetic may not need to modify his diet at all as he can cover his food choices with insulin. A non-insulin-dependent Type 2 diabetic, who is managing her blood glucose level with diet and exercise and/or non-insulin medications only, might choose to “eat to her meter.” This means setting a target postmeal blood glucose level and testing before and after meals to reach those targets. A Type 2 diabetic may find that she can have a salad with grilled chicken breast and remain below her threshold. Or she may find that if she adds croutons to that salad, she exceeds her threshold. On the other hand, she might also discover that she can top her salad with croutons if she goes for a stroll after her meal.

There are well-controlled diabetics who prefer an “everything in moderation” diet. Others prefer low fat, still others low carb. The choice is up to you. It’s your diabetes.


Myth: You can catch diabetes from someone else.

Fact: False. Diabetes is not “contageous”. Although science is not sure of the exact root cause of diabetes, it is clear that is is not something that can be passed around like the flu or a common cold.


Myth: People with diabetes are more likely to get colds and other illnesses.

Fact: Diabetics aren’t any more likely to get sick than their non-diabetic counterparts. However, it is recommended that diabetes obtain their annual flu shots because ANY illness can make diabetes more difficult to control, and people with diabetes who do get the flu are more likely than others to go on to develop other serious medical complications.

At the same time, diabetics are more likely to be subject to other autoimmune diseases. There are medicines indicated for some such diseases that may cause such illnesses as a flu or a cold to be much more compromising.


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: False. The natural course of events for most type 2 diabetes is that, when newly diagnosed, many people with type 2 diabetes are able to keep their blood glucose at a healthy level with oral medications alone. However, over time the pancreas gradually produces less and less of its own insulin. It is for this reason that eventually oral medications aren’t enough to keep blood glucose levels in the normal range. Being asked by a doctor to begin an insulin regimen to keep good BG levels is a good thing, not a bad one. And being asked to go on insulin isn’t a suggestion that you are somehow derelict in your personal duties and responsibilities.


Myth: Fruit is a healthy food. Therefore, it is ok to eat as much of it as you wish.

Fact: Fruits are considered healthy foods. They do contain fiber and lots of vitamins and minerals. However, because fruits also contain carbohydrates (which diabetics are primarily concerned with), the consumption frequency and the amount eaten should be discussed with your dietitian, and they should be appropriately dosed with insulin (if you are on insulin).


Myth: It’s possible to reverse (be cured of) diabetes.

Fact: Through diet and exercise, some people with Type 2 diabetes may sufficiently reduce their A1c so that they no longer experience the overt symptoms of diabetes. While they may be said to have “reversed” the symptoms of the disease, they still have diabetes and need to continue to monitor their blood sugar.




End of wiki ---------- comments start here

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How about the myth about “reversing” diabetes (as opposed to D symptoms)? Gives me the willies whenever I see that in a book title or headline!

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Re-wrote the “Myths” to prevent copyright issues. Also as suggested, removed Myths as a category and created a thread for Myths under the Research category (most applicable, I thought.)

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@CatLady, do you want to add this one to the list?

Wiil do!

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This seemed to be written for T2 because there is no reference to taking insulin. For T1, the key would be not only moderation, but proper dosing.

I have caught myself with this a few times because T2 and T1 have totally different things they need to do, and how they can handle eating. This becomes tricky to write these things when speaking to both a T1 and T2 audience.

Like for all the exercise stuff I wrote, I was writing it with only T1 in mind. And now I am wondering if I need to clarify that somewhere…

I defer that to Michel and the Content Team!

It looks great @CatLady!

Totally right. I added a couple of words about dosage.

@ClaudnDaye, what exactly did you mean? Is there possibly a missing word or some such thing? This does not appear to be true as written?

Feel free to amend as necessary!

The way I understand it when I read it is: “Foods such as whole grain breads, pasta, cereal as well as starchy vegetables such as potatoes, peas, corn and yams” should not be a part of regular meal plans, but, instead, “should be added into the meal plan as snacks.”

But I imagine a lot of people who are not LCHF would disagree with that statement?

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My original intent with this Myth was to express a concept that really applies to anyone, diabetic or not. chocolates/sweets are something that everyone should consume in moderation - not that diabetics are somehow different in their consumption requirements for it. For my own son, I just give him smaller portions of things such as cookies, cakes, etc., because I want to try and avoid the extremely high spikes that often follow them. But he can (as any diabetic can) eat them. Moderation, as I intended to write it is just something that can help them better control their BG’s, and live a more healthy lifestyle since chocolates/sweets are something everyone should consume in moderation.

Concerning starchy foods, the intent was to only say these should be eaten in moderation…whether with a meal, or as a snack, as long as moderation is maintained. A diet of only mashed potatoes wouldn’t be good for anyone, but especially for a diabetic…not only the health consequences of such a diet, but also the lengthy process of digesting these types of foods and the resulting BG levels that occur.

Anyone wishing to re-vamp what was written, please feel free to do so! I took what was written on the original website and tried to re-word it enough to lose the issues surrounding copyright and in doing so, perhaps I re-wrote some things incorrectly.

Thanks!

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I agree with this completely. We can eat whatever we want! It just has to be accounted for in the total dose. I’ve generally followed the principle of adjusting the insulin dose instead of adjusting the food. And moderation is correct for everyone.

The reason it caught my eye is just that there was no mention of taking extra insulin to account for the sweets. So I thought maybe it was for T2 instead of T1.

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11 posts were split to a new topic: T1 mortality rates

“Myth: You can’t be a Type 1/must be a Type 2 diabetic if you’re an adult/ overweight.”

“Half of All Type 1 Diabetes Develops After 30 Years of Age…Onset of type 1 diabetes is just as likely to occur in people older than 30 years of age as in those younger, new research shows…”

A study in Sweden noted a BMI of 27.7 in LADA versus 27.9 in T2. So, just like more and more of the population, based upon BMI, the LADAs were overweight.

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Hmm, perhaps I’m being too critical? I will admit to finding most of what the ADA addresses to non-healthcare professionals as utter drivel.

Seriously, let me know what you think.

I thought the mortality discussion was really interesting on its own - so I moved these posts to their own thread (“T1 mortality rates”). :innocent:

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I made a few edits to the OP to take into account Eric’s comment on insulin dosage.

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Perhaps we might retitle this something along the lines of “Diabetes Facts and Fallacies”? Here’s my rationale and a very rough draft re: diet.

Must I follow a strict, no sweets, no salt and no fat diet? Absolutely not! Will you need to make some changes to your dietary choices? That depends upon your diagnosis, your blood glucose targets, your physician’s orders, your food preferences, etc.

A T1 may not need to modify their diet at all as they can cover their food choices with insulin. A T2 who is managing their blood glucose levels with diet and exercise and/or non-insulin medications only, might choose to eat to their meter. This means setting a target postmeal blood glucose level and testing before and after meals to reach those targets. A T2 may find that they can have a salad with grilled chicken breast and remain below their threshold. They may find that if they add croutons to that salad, they exceed their threshold. On the other hand, they might also discover that they can top their salad with croutons if they go for a stroll after their meal.

There are very well-controlled diabetics that prefer an “everything in moderation” diet. Others prefer low fat, still others low carb. The choice is up to you. It’s your diabetes.

Thoughts???

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Re: “Myth: People with diabetes are more likely to get colds and other illnesses.”

Suggested addition:
Autoimmune disorders tend to cluster. If one is taking a DMARD (Disease-modifying AntiRheumatic Drug), common illnesses are much more compromising.

Or, something along those lines…

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I added one such myth. Have a look and see if it works.

I added a paragraph to the Myth in question. Please review and check - it’s late and most of my brain cells have quite working (particularly the ones that type) :-).