What are some myths about type 2 diabetes?

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Mr. Eliot LeBow, CDE, LCSW
Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism

Think type 2 diabetes is simply caused by extra pounds? Think again. In this video, Eliot LeBow, a psychotherapist who specializes in diabetes, clears up common myths about type 2 diabetes.


There are a number of myths about type 2 diabetes. The most dangerous myth is the belief that diabetes isn’t that serious. In fact, type 2 diabetes kills more people each year than breast cancer and AIDS combined.

Another popular misconception is that type 2 diabetes is caused by eating too much sugar. This myth probably stems from the fact that if you eat a lot of sugar, you may be overweight, and that can increase your risk for type 2 diabetes. But just because you consume a lot of sugar doesn’t mean you’ll end up with diabetes, which is caused by heredity and lifestyle factors, such as being overweight and not exercising.

Another myth: Some people believe that if you have type 2 diabetes, you must eat only special foods. Not true. Your diet should be one that would be healthy for anyone -- low in fat, with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meat and nonfat dairy products.
The top 4 myths about type 2 diabetes are:

Myth 1: "Diabetes is nothing to worry about -- it's just a 'touch of sugar.' I'm just borderline."
Fact: Diabetes is a serious condition, but there's a lot you can do to take care of yourself.

Myth 2: "If I take my diabetes pills, I don't have to worry about what I eat or whether I exercise."
Fact: All three ways -- medication, meal planning, and physical activity -- work together to treat diabetes.

Myth 3: "Once you have diabetes, there's nothing you can do to prevent health problems."
Fact: Research has proven that keeping blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels on target can help prevent diabetes complications such as heart attack, stroke, and eye problems.

Myth 4: "Now that I have diabetes, I shouldn't eat sugar or carbohydrates."
Fact: These days, people with diabetes can eat sweets, carbohydrates, or any other food and still keep blood glucose levels on target. It's the amount that counts. A dietitian can help you design a meal plan that includes your favorite foods.
The Top Four Myths about Type 2 Diabetes

Continue Learning about Diabetes Type 2

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.