Diabetes affects 30.3 million people in the United States or about 9.4% of the population. Type 2 diabetes makes up 90 to 95% of this number. Inaccurate information about the disease leads to stereotypes and stigmas that affect many people. And people with type 2 diabetes may be confused about what to believe and not believe about their disease. Learn some common myths—and the facts—about one of America's most common chronic diseases.
Dispelling Stereotypes, Stigmas and Misconceptions https://d33ljpvc0tflz5.cloudfront.net/dims3/MMH/crop/5396x3610%2B86%2B0/resize/580x388/quality/75/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fd26ua9paks4zq.cloudfront.net%2Ffe%2Ff0%2Fcfbc677f4e03a7030444ea630f1c%2Fimage-gettyimages-463029383.jpg
FACT: Experts don't fully understand what causes type 2 diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, the body becomes resistant to insulin or doesn't produce enough insulin. Insulin is the hormone that helps cells use blood sugar—or glucose—for energy. In either case, blood sugar levels start to rise because insulin isn't working properly. The result is diabetes. Healthy eating—limiting fat, sugar, salt and cholesterol—is an important part of staying healthy for all adults.
Myth #1: Eating too much sugar causes type 2 diabetes. https://d33ljpvc0tflz5.cloudfront.net/dims3/MMH/thumbnail/580x388/quality/75/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fd26ua9paks4zq.cloudfront.net%2Fe4%2F51%2F8cf3c8614d6796a5bef92e75dce4%2Fistock-000001058419-small.jpg
FACT: Certain risk factors make it more likely for someone to develop type 2 diabetes. Being overweight or obese is one of them. But being overweight or obese doesn't necessarily mean someone will develop type 2 diabetes. That's because there are other risk factors. This includes having a family history of the disease, being over age 40, and being of African American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian American, or Pacific Islander descent.
Myth #2: Only overweight or obese people develop type 2 diabetes. https://d33ljpvc0tflz5.cloudfront.net/dims3/MMH/thumbnail/580x388/quality/75/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fd26ua9paks4zq.cloudfront.net%2F1a%2Ff7%2F5df16c004431b2ac9c8ba3d2c207%2F188109.jpg
FACT: Symptoms of type 2 diabetes may develop slowly. In fact, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) estimates that about 7 of the 30 million people with the disease don't even know they have it. When symptoms do develop, people may not recognize them right away because they are mild or vague. The telltale symptoms of type 2 diabetes are increased urination, thirst and hunger. Other symptoms include weight loss and fatigue; slow-healing wounds and blurred vision typically occur later in the disease.
Myth #3: Type 2 diabetes always causes symptoms. https://d33ljpvc0tflz5.cloudfront.net/dims3/MMH/thumbnail/580x388/quality/75/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fd26ua9paks4zq.cloudfront.net%2F60%2F30%2F3fecdf2947478cf1d57a648c0344%2Fhumira-SS-myths-4.jpg
FACT: You either have diabetes or you don't. Doctors diagnose diabetes using several tests. Each test has cutoffs for normal, diabetes and prediabetes. Having prediabetes puts you at very high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The good news is that you can do something about it. Research suggests that you can cut your risk by 58% if you lose 7% of your body weight and exercise moderately for 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
Myth #4: Prediabetes is nothing to worry about. https://d33ljpvc0tflz5.cloudfront.net/dims3/MMH/crop/4735x3168%2B1076%2B330/resize/580x388/quality/75/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fd26ua9paks4zq.cloudfront.net%2F10%2Fd8%2F37d8897548d2bf288b1597a8a896%2Fimage-senior-couple-walking.jpg
FACT: Left uncontrolled, both types of diabetes can cause serious complications and even be deadly. Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States. It's also a major cause of disability. Complications include kidney disease, vision loss, neuropathy, amputations, heart attack, and stroke. Fortunately, controlling and managing type 2 diabetes can help prevent or delay these complications.
Myth #5: Type 2 diabetes is not as serious as type 1 diabetes. https://d33ljpvc0tflz5.cloudfront.net/dims3/MMH/thumbnail/580x388/quality/75/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fd26ua9paks4zq.cloudfront.net%2F79%2F2c%2F9df945fd4457b59c59a9303cda98%2Ftylenol-SS-kidney%20failure.jpg
FACT: For most people, type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease. Many people manage type 2 diabetes with healthy eating, plenty of exercise, weight loss, and oral medicines. As the disease progresses, most people eventually need insulin. Starting insulin for type 2 diabetes does not mean you have failed to manage your disease. It means your disease is changing. Experts recognized this when they changed the name from "non-insulin dependent diabetes" to "type 2 diabetes."
Myth #6: People with type 2 diabetes don't need insulin. https://d33ljpvc0tflz5.cloudfront.net/dims3/MMH/thumbnail/580x388/quality/75/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fd26ua9paks4zq.cloudfront.net%2F88%2Fac%2Fe23216e54d319c47a174ef8f70f9%2F8-simple-changes-to-curb-your-h