Living with diabetes blog

Blog: Top 10 diabetes myths

By Nancy Klobassa Davidson, R.N. and Peggy Moreland, R.N. August 4, 2011

This blog is the first in a two-part series in which we discuss the top 10 diabetes myths.

Hello, bloggers. I've been looking at articles from a number of popular diabetes magazines and other resources about diabetes myths. Each one seems to have its own list of the top five or 10 diabetes myths.

I decided to develop my own list of the top 10 diabetes myths that I've heard as a diabetes educator at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. I'll reveal five this week, five next week.

Here goes (drum roll).

I have borderline diabetes or just a touch of diabetes.

Either you have it or you don't. Two fasting blood sugar readings over 126 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or 7 millimoles per liter (mmol/L); a random blood glucose over 200 mg/dL (11.1 mmol/L); or an A1C of 6.5 percent or higher are all considered diabetes.

I don't know why I got diabetes, I never eat sweets.

Just about everything you eat is converted into glucose — sugar — so for most people with type 2 diabetes, what you eat is not as important as how much you eat. When you overeat, you're adding extra calories your body doesn't need for energy, so your body will convert these extra calories into fat. Being overweight is a predisposing factor for developing diabetes. 

I can't eat carbohydrates; it makes my blood sugars go high.

Of course they do — even people who don't have diabetes will see an elevation in their blood glucose after eating. Carbohydrates should be approximately 50 percent of your daily food intake each day. Carbohydrates are your fuel, without them you will have little energy.

If I have to go on insulin; that must mean my diabetes is really bad.

You know, insulin has gotten a bad rap through the years. It's the blood glucose control that determines whether you go on insulin; if diet alone or diet along with oral or noninsulin-injectable diabetes medication(s) is not controlling the blood glucose, insulin is necessary.

Insulin causes complications of diabetes.

Again, insulin has gotten a bad rap. Insulin is a natural hormone and is probably one of the safest medications around. Insulin helps control the blood glucose, which in turn slows down or prevents diabetes complications.

Your thoughts? What are some of the diabetes myths you have come across?

Have a great week,


228 Comments Posted

Aug. 04, 2011