Type 2 Diabetes Myth-Busting

There are many myths – some, perhaps, well intentioned – related to Type 2 Diabetes.

However, most of these myths are unhelpful if you are coming to terms with the condition as someone newly diagnosed, or if you have lived with Type 2 Diabetes for some time and are trying to cut through the noise to establish the facts.

Below are some common myths surrounding Type 2 Diabetes. Check out the Resources Hub for factual information.

Myth: Only overweight people get Type 2 Diabetes.

Fact: Without a doubt, carrying too much weight increases your risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes (as well as a number of other health issues too). However, excessive weight is not the sole cause when Type 2 Diabetes is diagnosed. Many other factors can come in to play, including lifestyle, age, dietary choices and occasionally genetics.

Myth: Only Type 1 diabetics need to take Insulin.

Fact: It is true that Type 1 Diabetics require the use of Insulin to manage their blood sugars (see our page on the differences between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes), and in many cases those with Type 2 Diabetes will never need to take it.

However, in those with serious or more advanced Type 2 Diabetes, where traditional oral medication is not working as desired or cannot be tolerated, or the individual has not been able to adequately control their diet and lifestyle, Inuslin may be prescribed.

Myth: Type 2 Diabetes is not a serious health condition.

Fact: Type 2 Diabetes is a chronic (long term), potentially life shortening and life threatening disease that impacts almost every system of the body. It can affect the cardovascular system, the nervous system, the eyes, the kidneys and more. Type 2 Diabetes a leading cause of blindness and of limb amputation.

Myth: Type 2 Diabetics cannot eat any carbohydrates.

Fact: As part of a balanced diet, carbohydrates are essential for your body to function properly. Cutting out carbs altogether can cause other health complications.

It is important to understand that not all carbs are created equal – there are many ‘good’ carbs and many ‘bad’ carbs, and cutting them out altogether and going on to a ‘fad’ diet of only fats and protein is definately not recommended.

Myth: Eating too much sugar causes Type 2 Diabetes.

Fact: If only it were that easy – cut out sugar and never get Type 2 Diabetes.

Sadly, this is not the case. Sugar alone does not cause the disease to develop, but in excess it does contribute to weight gain which in turn increases the risk. Consumption of excessive refined sugars does place a load on to the systems of the body, which in turn can create a situation where body cells become unresponsive to the Insulin produced to control blood sugars.

So no, excess sugar consumption is not THE cause of Type 2 Diabetes, but it certainly plays a big part.

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