Here are the myths — and the facts about diabetes
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 100 million American adults either have diabetes or prediabetes. 1 In spite of the number of people that have diabetes, there are a lot of mistaken beliefs about the disease.
On behalf of all of the people who have diabetes or at risk, we will debunk common diabetes myths in this blog post.
#1 Thin People Don’t Get Type 2 Diabetes
Fact: While it is true that being overweight or obese increases the likelihood of having diabetes, people who are at a healthy weight can also develop type 2 diabetes. Genes play a role in the development of diabetes. Also, having an excess of fat around the waste can contribute to type 2 diabetes. This type of fat is called visceral fat. It clings to your abdominal organs and builds up in the arteries. Visceral fat is also thought to lower insulin sensitivity, which is why it is related to the development of type 2 diabetes. Visceral fat is sometimes hard to see because it is located deep in the abdominal cavity. Also, thin people can have a lot of visceral fat without looking overweight. 2
One of the easiest ways to tell if you have excessive visceral fat is to take a look at your body shape. People with an apple shape are more likely to have visceral fat than those with a pear shape. An apple body shape is bulkier on the top. People with apple shapes tend to have larger waists. People with a pear shape have narrower waists and broader hips. The best way to get rid of visceral fat is to eat a low-carb diet. Also, regular moderate-intensity aerobic exercise can banish visceral fat.
#2 You Can Tell If Your Blood Sugar Levels Are Too High Or Low
Fact: Signs of elevated blood sugar can be mild in people with type 2 diabetes. These signs are often overlooked. You may develop blurry vision because your blood sugar is too high. This sign is something that is easily chalked up to spending too much time reading or looking at your phone screen. People who have had diabetes for an extended period may not be able to tell when blood sugar levels are low. The only way to know if your blood sugar is high or low is to test it.
#3 There Is No Cure For Diabetes
Fact: While it is true that there is no cure for type 1 diabetes, this is not necessarily true for type 2. For people with type 2 diabetes, diet and exercise can reverse the disease in some cases — but not all. Weight loss is the primary factor in people whose diabetes has gone into remission. Research has shown that bariatric surgery can eliminate type 2 diabetes. Exercise can help too. One study looked at 13 men who were diagnosed with diabetes. After just three weeks of strict exercise (45 to 60 minutes per day) and diet changes, they lowered their blood sugars to the point that they no longer met the criteria for diabetes. 3 The key is that the weight loss and lifestyle changes must be kept up for sustained remission of the disease.
#4 You Can’t Eat Sugar
Fact: A common misconception about diabetes is that you cannot eat sugar. If you have diabetes, you must carefully monitor your carbohydrate intake. The carbohydrates in food are what raises blood sugar levels. Sugary foods do tend to have more carbs. However, you can enjoy real sugar when you have diabetes; you have to ensure that you stay within your carbohydrate limit. If you want a great-tasting sweetener that will not raise blood sugar levels, try one that contains Stevia. These sweeteners come from the Stevia plant and are an all-natural, no calorie source of sweetness.