The Truth Behind Diabetes Myths
When it comes to diabetes, it’s not always easy to sort out the myths from the truth. Make sure you’re armed with the correct information on managing your diabetes
To help you out, we’ve gathered some common myths surrounding diabetes therapy — and the facts you need to know.
Myth #1: I don’t need to monitor my blood sugar.
The Truth: Monitoring your blood sugar is the only way to make sure your blood sugar levels stay within your personal target range. Depending on your unique treatment plan, you may need to check your blood sugar once a day or even multiple times a day.
Myth #2: Natural remedies (like cinnamon or turmeric) can cure my diabetes.
The Truth: There’s no magic food, spice, herb or supplement that can cure you of diabetes.
While there’s a lot of research being done on type 1 diabetes, it’s incurable. Type 2 diabetes doesn’t have a cure either. When it’s caught early, major lifestyle changes may be able to reverse the disease for some. But these individuals still need to monitor their blood sugar.
Myth #3: I can stop taking diabetes medications when my blood sugar is under control
The Truth: In some cases, people with type 2 diabetes can manage their blood sugar by making lifestyle changes. These changes include eating a healthy diet, losing weight and exercising regularly. However, diabetes can progress over time. And you may still need medicines, even when you’re doing all you can to manage your blood sugar.
If you’ve been prescribed medicines to manage your diabetes, you should see your blood sugar numbers improve. That doesn’t mean you should stop taking your medicines. Never stop taking your medications without consulting with your healthcare team.
Myth #4: It’s not safe for me to exercise with diabetes.
The Truth: Regular exercise is a critical part of managing your blood sugar. It helps boost the body’s sensitivity to insulin. Getting active can also lower your A1C, a test that shows how well your blood sugar is managed over time.
Before starting a new exercise plan, always talk to your doctor. But for most people, 150 minutes per week of exercise is recommended.
Ask your doctor about how to manage your medicines or adjust your dosage of insulin to prevent low blood sugar when you do exercise. You may also need to work to prevent and monitor for problems with your feet, eyes and heart.
Myth #5: Having to use insulin means I’m not doing a good job managing my diabetes.
The Truth: If you have type 2 diabetes, understand that it’s a progressive disease. Using insulin to manage blood sugar levels is a good thing.
After diagnosis, many people are able to manage their diabetes by using oral medicines and making lifestyle changes. Over time, your body begins producing less and less insulin — which means taking oral medications may not be enough at some point.
This doesn’t mean that you have failed. It simply means that you need to take new measures to manage your blood sugar and maximize your health.