It’s a modern epidemic that’s been decades in the making. Cases of diabetes continue to skyrocket. And the trend doesn’t appear to be reversing anytime soon.
But while there are many factors fueling this deadly downward spiral, the amount of public misinformation out there certainly isn’t helping.
Let’s face it: Despite all the doomsday headlines far too many of us are still developing this killer disease. So today, I’m going to tackle a handful of persistent diabetes myths which have placed folks like you and me in the danger zone as a result.
Diabetes myths which could be putting you in danger
Which of these 5 killer diabetes myths have YOU fallen for?
1. “Thin people can’t get type 2 diabetes.”
It’s true that obesity is a huge risk factor for type 2 diabetes. But metabolic syndrome, or pre-diabetes, has a number of red flags. And a being overweight is only one of them.
There are other risk factors, including a diet high in sugar and refined carbs, lack of exercise, family history, race, age, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), high blood pressure, and abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Incredibly a whopping —a significant rise since 1994. So needless to say, you can’t assess your risk for diabetes simply by looking in a mirror or stepping on the scale. Which is why routine screening, whatever your size, is so important.
2. “I would know if I had diabetes.”
Actually, statistically speaking, there’s a really good chance you wouldn’t. In 2015, as many as 7.2 million of the 30.3 million American adults with diabetes were undiagnosed. That’s nearly a quarter.
There can be telltale signs that your blood sugar is higher than it should be—like frequent urination, extreme thirst and hunger, dark skin patches, nerve pain and numbness, or slow healing wounds. Some symptoms, on the other hand, aren’t so obvious.
The fact is, diabetes is a deceptive condition that creeps up on you for years before the worst symptoms set in. And without routine screening, you may not have a clue it’s happening until it’s too late.
3. “Pre-diabetes isn’t deadly.”
You might think the danger only starts once your blood sugar is squarely in the diabetic range. But I’m sorry to report that this simply isn’t true. In fact, the risk kicks in well before that.
The biggest risk, of course, is that you will go on to develop full-blown diabetes. (Half of prediabetics do within ten years.) But there’s evidence to suggest that prediabetics are at nearly equal risk of facing some of diabetes’ scariest complications—like heart disease or damage to the eyes, kidneys and nerves.
To make matters worse, roughly one in three Americans has prediabetes—and as many as 90 percent don’t even realize it.
4. “Artificial sweeteners are good for diabetics.”
Talk about lethal misinformation. Artificially sweetened products may be marketed as “diet”—but in reality, they’re anything but.
Research shows that artificial sweeteners actually cause weight gain and trigger sugar cravings. And if that wasn’t enough, studies reveal that they’re associated with a higher risk of diabetes as well… even in normal weight people.
In other words, put down the diet soda. Try homemade iced tea or if you prefer bubbles some seltzer water instead. If you’re looking for some extra flavor infuse your drink with some fresh fruit.
5. “There’s no cure for diabetes.”
Let’s call this one a diabetes myth hiding within a fact—because it’s true that there is no “cure” for diabetes. There’s no instant magic pill to make it better and the fight against diabetes is lifelong.
But if you’re a type 2 diabetic, you can put the disease into remission. In other words, reverse it. And the best part of all is it doesn’t have a thing to do with taking a drug. You simply need to change the way you think about the disease.
Instead of treating the symptoms, you need to eliminate them instead. And the way you do that is…
- Committing to cutting the added sugars and junk carbs from your diet
- Adopting some kind of fun activity that makes you get up and move regularly such as water aerobics, golf or square dancing.
- Maintain the healthy weight loss that follows when you make the first two changes.
As always, knowing your enemy is half the battle. And with these five killer diabetes myths busted, your way back from diabetes will be a whole lot clearer.