5 Myths About Diabetes You Need to Know

November is American Diabetes Awareness Month. Diabetes is a life altering disease that impacts millions of Americans each day. According to the National Diabetes Association, nearly 30 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes.

Another 86 million Americans have pre-diabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The American Diabetes Association estimates that the total national cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States is $245 billion.

Even though millions of Americans have diabetes, the Centers for Disease Controls (CDC) estimates that a quarter of these adults living with diabetes in the United States have not yet been diagnosed. The CDC has also determined that of the 86 million people who have  pre-diabetic conditions, 90% are unaware of their health conditions.

As with any widespread disease, misinformation and myths prevent proper consultation and magnify assumptions not based on facts.  In honor of American Diabetes Month, here are five of the most widely circulated myths about diabetes. Share the truth about these myths with your friends and loved ones and encourage anyone exhibiting symptoms to seek consultation with a health professional.

Myth #1: Diabetes is not a serious disease

Fact: According to the CDC Diabetes can cause serious health complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputations. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.

Myth #2: Diabetes is caused by eating too much sugar

Fact: The National Diabetes Association notes that Type 1 diabetes is caused by genetics and unknown factors that trigger its onset; type 2 is caused by genetics and lifestyle factors. Being overweight increases your risk for developing type 2, and a diet high in calories from any source contributes to weight gain. Research has shown that sugary drinks may be linked to type 2 diabetes.

Myth #3: People with diabetes are more likely to get colds and other diseases.

Fact: Having diabetes does not necessarily make you more susceptible to illness. However, illness can make diabetes more difficult to manage and people with diabetes may have difficulty fighting infections.

Myth #4: People with diabetes cannot play sports or exercise

Fact: There are tennis players, mountain climbers, weight lifters, basketball stars, snowboarders, and many other athletes and active individuals who have diabetes.

Myth #5: Women with diabetes shouldn’t get pregnant

Fact: The American Diabetes Association notes that women with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes can have a relatively normal pregnancy and give birth to a healthy baby.

To learn more about diabetes, its causes, symptoms and diagnosis visit the American Diabetes Association.

If you are living life with diabetes, know that you are not along. Men and women around the world are living vibrant lives with diabetes including Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Patti Labelle and Larry King. Check out the full list here to learn about their inspiring stories.


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