Diabetes is a medical condition, not a label

Diabetes is a medical condition that’s surrounded by a lot of myths and misunderstanding.

This means some people with the condition feel like it’s a label or like they’re being judged unfairly compared to people without diabetes.

Research suggests that people with diabetes can feel blamed by others for ‘bringing diabetes on themselves’, treated differently in the workplace, and judged negatively in social situations because of their food choices and medication needs.

In this article, we wanted to dispel a few of the most common diabetes myths to help banish the stigma surrounding this condition, which affects more than 2.4 million Australians.

People with diabetes can feel like it’s a label or like they’re being judged unfairly compared to people without #diabetes #health #wellness Click To Tweet

 

Myth #1: You have to be overweight or obese to develop diabetes

While being overweight or obese is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, it is NOT a direct cause.

According to Diabetes Australia, some people who are overweight may not develop type 2 diabetes while some people who are of a healthy weight will develop type 2 diabetes.

It’s important to note that type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition, which is not associated with weight, physical inactivity or any other lifestyle factors.

 

You don’t have to be overweight to develop #diabetes #mythbusting #health #wellness Click To Tweet

 

Myth #2: Eating sugar causes diabetes

Yes, having diabetes does affect your blood sugar levels but it’s not caused directly by eating sugar.

While it’s true that too much sugar can have a big impact on our health and wellbeing, if you’re including it as part of a healthy meal plan, sweets and desserts are fine. The key is having it in moderation and doing regular exercise.

People with diabetes don’t need to eat a ‘diabetic’ diet either. A ‘diabetic diet’ is just a healthy way of eating that would be recommended for anyone. This involves eating plenty of vegetables, fruits, wholegrains and lean protein such as meat and fish.

As well as eating a healthy diet, people with diabetes need to check their blood glucose levels daily using a glucometer and about every three months using an HbA1c test to make sure the balance of sugars in their body is right.

Eating sugar doesn’t cause diabetes

 

Eating too much sugar doesn’t cause #diabetes #mythbusting #health #wellness Click To Tweet

 

Myth #3: You only get diabetes when you’re old

Diabetes affects all age groups.

The onset of type 1 diabetes is most common in children and people under 30 years, but new research suggests about half of all people who develop the condition are diagnosed over the age of 30.

Type 2 diabetes usually develops in adults over the age of 45 years but is becoming more common in younger age groups including children, teenagers and young adults.

Diabetes affects all age groups, it’s not just an “old-person’s” condition #mythbusting #diabetes #health #wellness Click To Tweet

 

Myth #4: You’ll know if you’re developing diabetes

In fact, many people can be developing diabetes or living with a condition called pre-diabetes for several years without knowing.

More than 2.5 million Australians have pre-diabetes and are at risk of type 2 diabetes, but many of them don’t know it yet – because there are no obvious symptoms.

Diabetes NSW & ACT CEO Sturt Eastwood says early diagnosis is critical to reducing the likelihood and impact of diabetes-related complications.

“People can live with type 2 diabetes for up to seven years before being diagnosed and in that time life-threatening health problems can develop.”

-Sturt Eastwood

 

Myth #5: Diabetes isn’t serious

Living with diabetes is a big deal and there’s no such thing as a ‘mild’ case of diabetes.

If you have diabetes you have to manage your condition everyday or risk some serious complications like heart disease, kidney disease, stroke, and eye problems. In some cases it can even lead to limb amputations.

Living with diabetes doesn’t prevent you from doing certain activities but it does mean you may need to take extra precautions.

It can also be emotionally demanding and have a big impact on your mental health.

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with diabetes and are in need of more support, please contact Sane Australia or call their helpline on 1800 187 263.

 

There’s no such thing as a ‘mild’ case of #diabetes #mythbusting #health #wellness Click To Tweet

 

Over to you. How much do you know about diabetes? Can you share this information with someone who needs to know more?

 

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Pre-diabetes affects people of all shapes and sizes

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