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Common Myths about Diabetes

Kerry Thompson looks at some of the common myths about the common disease diabetes

About 6% of the world's adult population is diagnosed with diabetes. The number could be even more as there are many people who have diabetes but are unaware of it. Diabetes can be a life-threatening disease, but with proper care and leading a healthy lifestyle, it can be easily managed. It is important to get a clear idea about diabetes and a plan on how to deal with it. There are a lot of misconceptions and myths about the disease which are misleading. Here are some common myths about diabetes which gives out a wrong idea about the disease.

Diabetes is not a serious disease

Let us face the hard truth, diabetes is a serious disease and can be even deadly. In fact, diabetes causes more deaths than breast cancer and AIDS combined. Having diabetes even doubles the chances of having a heart attack. However, the good news is that diabetes can be controlled. Leading a healthy life with diabetes is always possible. Consider it like crossing a road, if you are not careful you may even meet with death. However, if you are careful enough, it is not at all serious. The same goes for diabetes, if you are careful and lead a healthy lifestyle with proper diet and exercise, diabetes will not be an issue.

You will develop diabetes if you are overweight or obese

The fact is that being overweight or obese is certainly a risk factor for diabetes. However other factors like family history of the disease, age and ethnicity also play a crucial role. Most people overlook other factors and consider overweight to be the only factor which leads to the disease. In fact, most overweight people do not develop type 2 diabetes and most people with type 2 diabetes are normal weight.

People with diabetes should eat special diets

A healthy diet for diabetic people is more or less the same as that for the non-diabetic. The food should be low in saturated and trans-fat, moderate in salt and sugar, with meals based on lean protein, non-starchy vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats and fruits. The hard truth is that diabetic foods do not offer any special benefits. Most of them still raise blood sugar levels, are more expensive and even cause laxative effects if they contain sugar alcohols.

People with diabetes are more likely to catch a cold and other illness

This is not at all true. People with diabetes have the same likeness of catching a disease just like non-diabetics. However, any illness can make the controlling of diabetes more difficult, especially flu, which can develop into serious complications for people with diabetes. This is the reason why people with diabetes are advised to get flu shots.

People with diabetes cannot eat sweets or chocolate

People with diabetes can also enjoy sweets or chocolates without developing any serious complications. However, they should be eaten as part of a healthy meal plan or combined with exercises. The key is to eat them in a small portion and save them for special occasions so that your focus is on your main meals and healthy foods.


These are some common myths about diabetes. It is very important to have a very clear understanding about the disease and its implications, not just for diabetes but for every disease. So, you should always share your doubts and concerns with your doctor.

Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:

  • THOMPSON, K. (2016) Common Myths about Diabetes [WWW] Available from: [Accessed

About the Author

Kerry Thompson is registered clinician. She says that the best way to avoid getting diabetes is taking better care of yourself. by eating well-balanced meals and going for regular check-ups with your doctor.

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