American Diabetes Month: how well do you know diabetes?

November is American Diabetes Month and we want to test your knowledge of this serious disease. So, how well do you know Diabetes? Read the common myths and facts below.

MYTH: If you have diabetes, you’ll know it through your symptoms.

FACT: This is not always the case. Type 2 diabetes generally has few or no symptoms at first. And Type 1 is often misdiagnosed as the flu or strep.

MYTH: You won’t get diabetes if it doesn’t run in your family.

FACT:  Although family history is one risk factor for type 2 diabetes, there are several more risk factors including increasing age, high blood pressure, ethnicity, and physical inactivity.

MYTH: Getting pregnant should be avoided for women who have diabetes.

FACT: Women can have a healthy pregnancy and baby, if they manage their diabetes well.

MYTH: Someone with diabetes can always feel when their blood glucose level gets too low.

FACT: Not everyone can. Some don’t feel or recognize symptoms of hypoglycemia (low blood glucose). This can be extremely dangerous.

MYTH: Diabetes is not a dangerous disease.

FACT: Diabetes is a very serious disease. It causes more deaths in one year than both AIDS and breast cancer together. People with diabetes are nearly twice as likely to suffer from a heart attack.

MYTH: Eating too much sugar causes diabetes.

FACT: This alone does not cause diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is caused by genetics and lifestyle factors which include being overweight and having a diet high in calories from any source, not just sugar. Type 1 diabetes, on the other hand, can stem from genetics or viral infections.

MYTH: It’s easier to get colds and other illnesses if you have diabetes.

FACT:  Nope. You are not more susceptible to these illnesses if you have diabetes. But, if you get an illness, it can make your diabetes harder to manage.

MYTH: If you have type 2 diabetes and need to use insulin, you must be in bad shape.

FACT:  Most people with type 2 diabetes will eventually need insulin at some point, as it is a progressive disease. They can usually avoid complications from diabetes because they are able to better control the disease with insulin.

MYTH: For your diabetes to improve, you must lose a considerable amount of weight.

FACT:  With Type 2, you do not need to lose a lot of weight to improve your diabetes. Lose 7% of your body weight to achieve noticeable health benefits. For those who weigh 200 pounds, that would be about 15 pounds. However, for Type 1 Diabetes, weight is not a factor.

MYTH: Diabetes is not an expensive disease to manage.

FACT:  This could not be any further from the truth. Diabetes (both type 1 and type 2) can be very expensive. However, it does not have to be. People with diabetes are saving hundreds of dollars every month on insulin, other prescription drugs used to manage diabetes, and testing supplies. To learn how you can save on these, follow the links below:

How did you do? If you weren’t already familiar with these myths and facts, we hope you have gained a better understanding of the serious disease called diabetes. Happy American Diabetes Month! #ThisIsDiabetes #DiabetesMonth