12 Common Misconceptions About Diabetes, Diabetics and Blood Sugar Levels

Diabetes refers to a disorder whereby your body’s glucose level is too high. Note that glucose comes from the food that you eat and fuels your body’s source of energy. Having too much or too little of this can cause your body serious health problems. If current disease rates will continue, one in three Americans will be diagnosed with diabetes by the year 2050 (mostly type 2 diabetes). Globally, diabetes is one of the most common diseases experienced by many.

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While diabetes is pretty much well known, this doesn’t mean that every information about it on the Internet is accurate. In fact, you may have even started to believe something you thought to be the truth, but in fact, it is wrong. That said, here are 12 common misconceptions about diabetes, diabetics, and blood sugar levels.

1. You Cannot Take Sugar Or Sweet Things Or You Will Get Diabetes.

This information is false.

Taking sugar or high-calorie foods in reasonable amounts does not cause diabetes. However, if one is predisposed to diabetes or has a strong family tendency toward diabetes, taking high-calorie foods may overload the insulin response mechanism and may help induce the problem.

Similarly, if one becomes obese due to overeating, there is insulin resistance. This means that the normal ability of insulin induces the uptake of glucose into fat and muscle cells is affected.

The point here is never to deprive yourself of the sweeter things that life has to offer. But, always be cautious enough to keep your portions in control, and never in excessive quantities.

2. You Must Not Start On Medications Or You Will Be Stuck On Diabetic Medications Forever.

This information is not accurate.

The tendency for a lot of people is to view medications for diabetes with the same distaste as habit-forming drugs, to be taken only when absolutely necessary and in the barest minimum dosage, and stopping them the moment the condition seems well controlled. They do not want to face the fact that their body’s insulin response mechanism has gone haywire and that this is going to be a long term problem.

When you refuse to take medication, you’re only doing your body more harm than good. In fact, you’re increasing the likelihood of your condition worsening, leading to complications. Your medicines are there to help you. Unfortunately, when you’re diagnosed with diabetes, you also have to face the fact that you’ll be on maintenance medication for the rest of your life.

3. If I Get A Cut I Heal Pretty Fast. Therefore I Cannot Be Diabetic.

This information is not accurate.

Although in theory healing is slowed down when you have diabetes, this does not seem to translate into slow wound healing all the time. Testing for diabetes is a simple matter involving taking a small drop of blood (the patient has to fast for 12 hours) and checking it for diabetes blood sugar levels.

4. I Don’t See Ants Crawling Around Where I Pee. Therefore I Am Not Diabetic.

This information is not accurate.

Where there be sugar, there be ants. Sugar appears in the urine usually only when the blood levels exceed the renal threshold of about 10mmol/L (about 180mg/100ml). Diabetics do not necessarily have their blood sugar above this level all the time.

5. Don’t Hang Around Diabetics. You Will Get It From Them.

This information is false.

Diabetes is not infectious.

6. You’re Diabetic. No More Sweets, Cakes, Chocolates For You.

This information is not accurate.

Take normal foods. Just take smaller amounts, and do not overload on the calories. The key is never to take anything in excess. Then, you may even want to consider also taking blood sugar supplements for better management of your diet.

Read more about glycemic index, part 1, and glycemic index, part 2, for more information. See also this glycemic index chart.

7. You’re Diabetic. You Need Special Food Like Diabetic Jams, Low-Calorie Foodstuff. Brown Bread For You. No More White Bread.

This information is false.

Many people will gorge on brown bread in the belief that since the calorie value per gram of food is lower, it is safe to take as much as they like. In the end, the total calorie load goes way beyond expectations. Read more about eating bread and gaining weight.

8. If You’re Diabetic You Have A Higher Chance Of Getting High Blood Pressure.

This information is false.

No real direct relationship. However it is estimated that up to 66% of people with diabetes may also have high blood pressure, and because having both illnesses cause one to have an even more increased risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and strokes, one tends to need to be more aggressive in controlling both illnesses, if both are present.

9. I Can’t Get Children If I Am Diabetic.

This information is false.

Fertility is not affected. However, the chances of your children getting diabetes later in life tend to be higher than normal and go progressively higher the more of your close relatives have the problem.

10. If I Delay My Treatment Now I Can Always Go On It Later If Need Be. That Way I Don’t Need To Be On Medications That Long.

This information is false.

The longer you wait before treatment, the higher the chances of complications occurring. It is estimated that varying degrees of kidney impairment or failure will have occurred within 2 years of diagnosis if there is no treatment.

11. My Fasting Blood Sugar Was 8mmol/L (144mg/DL) When I Was Diagnosed As A Diabetic. Now My Fasting Sugar Is 6.5mmol/L (117mg/DL). My Diabetes Is Definitely Under Control.

This information is not accurate.

Blood sugar levels vary a lot depending on the food that is recently eaten, and on the number of hours elapsed before the blood test. It is so easy to delude oneself into believing that the problem is well controlled – just last longer, and the blood sugar drops more.

To help you along this line, see this blood sugar levels chart as a reference.

12. The Doctor Didn’t Detect Any Sugar In My Fasting Urine This Morning. My Diabetes Is Under Good Control.

This information is false.

See no. 4. A lot of moderate diabetics have their fasting sugar levels below 10, so the sugar does not spill over into the urine. Get your diabetes information from your doctor, not from your friends! Also note that, naturally, your sugar levels in the morning may also be lower since you haven’t taken any food yet. This fact is precisely the reason why regular monitoring, even at home, is necessary.

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Final Word / Conclusion

Now that you’re aware of these common misconceptions about diabetes, here’s to hoping that you can actually better manage your disease. Believe only in what is true. If there’s any information that you’re skeptical about, it’ll do you no harm to double-check with your doctor. When you’re more informed on accurate and real facts about diabetes, it’s like having power in your hands to better control your treatment. Note that with ongoing and careful treatment, you may not be cured, but your quality of life improves and your disease doesn’t progress as much.

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