Type 1 Diabetes Causes: Myths & Facts
As with all conditions and diseases, diabetes is associated with a variety of myths from misinformation that should be replaced with facts.
Myth: Individuals with diabetes should not eat any sugar, especially chocolates and sweets.
Fact: Some amount of sugar is necessary in all diets. If eaten in conjunction with a healthy meal plan and exercise regimen, there are no foods that are off limits to diabetics. Also, the regulation of increased sugar intake can typically be achieved through the proper use of insulin.
Myth: Diabetes is contagious.
Fact: Diabetes is not contagious. It's typically a disease associated with both environmental (lifestyle and diet) and genetic factors.
Myth: Insulin causes weight gain therefore it should not be taken.
Fact: One risk of insulin is weight gain, however, the benefits of utilizing insulin for the regulation of blood sugar commonly outweighs the risk of weight gain, which can be controlled by diet and exercise.
Myth: Diabetics are at a higher risk for infections.
Fact: Although diabetics are at no higher risk for infections, diabetics typically have difficulties in management of blood sugar levels when infections are present, causing a slower healing time.
Myth: Diabetics should only eat special "diabetic foods."
Fact: Diabetics can eat a healthy meal plan similar to any individual. But, they should exercise caution and follow a meal plan to regulate blood sugar levels.
Myth: Consuming sugar causes diabetes.
Fact: There is no one cause for diabetes, it's caused by a variety of environmental and genetic factors. However, frequent consumption of sugar is associated with the condition of being overweight, which is associated with a higher prevalence of diabetes.
Myth: Insulin causes hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis).
Fact: Insulin does not cause atherosclerosis. The development of atherosclerosis is based on cholesterol levels and blood pressure regulation, not insulin.
Myth: Fruit is healthy, and diabetics can eat it excessive amounts.
Fact: While fruit is healthy, it also contains sugar that effects overall blood sugar levels. Hence fruit intake should be monitored, just as all food intake should.
Myth: Children will eventually outgrow diabetes.
Fact: When diabetes is developed as a child, it will not be outgrown. Type 1 diabetes is associated with a pancreas that doesn't produce adequate amounts of insulin. Children with the condition of type 1 diabetes will always be dependent upon insulin, a healthy diet, and a healthy lifestyle for regulation and maintenance of blood sugar levels.
Myth: Insulin is a cure for diabetes.
Fact: There isn't a cure for diabetes. When insulin is injected, it's to replace the insulin that isn't being produced adequately by the pancreas. This is a temporary treatment to an underlying and long term condition, not a cure.
Myth: Diabetic individuals should not exercise.
Fact: Exercise is important for all individuals, including diabetics. Exercise aids in weight management, which decreases overall risk factors and symptoms. Exercise is also correlated with a healthier cardiovascular system, mood enhancements, blood sugar level regulation, and stress relief.