Diabetes: Facts and Myths

Diabetes is a complex disease that affects your body’s primary source of energy — glucose (sugar). By far, the most common form of diabetes is type 2. It’s caused by resistance to the hormone insulin, which is needed to get glucose into your cells. When this occurs, glucose accumulates in your bloodstream, leading to several serious complications. Learn the facts:

Myth vs. Fact

Myth: Type 2 diabetes only develops late in life.
Fact: More and more children and teens are now developing this condition.

Myth: A high-sugar diet is the primary cause of type 2 diabetes.
Fact: A diet high in calories from all sources, and a sedentary lifestyle, can lead to obesity, which is a primary risk. 

Myth: People with diabetes must follow a special diet.
Fact: A healthy meal plan for people with diabetes is generally the same as healthy eating in general; sweets and refined grains are allowed in moderation.

Myth: Smoking cigarettes does not affect blood sugar.
Fact: Smoking raises blood sugar levels and insulin resistance and increases the risk of most diabetes complications.

Myth: People with diabetes are more likely to get colds and flu.
Fact: Getting sick can elevate blood sugar and the risk for complications from the flu and other diseases. Flu shots and other vaccines offer protection.

Myth: The best treatment for diabetes is insulin.
Fact: When first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, many people can keep their glucose at a healthy level with a positive lifestyle and medication.

Myth: Most people with diabetes live a normal life span.
Fact: Many die prematurely from heart disease, heart attack or kidney disease.

Good news:People with type 2 diabetes can sometimes restore their blood sugar levels to normal just by eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly and losing weight.

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