Many people then go on to blame themselves for their diagnosis, thinking that their diabetes was caused by something they ate or because they didn’t exercise enough. You should not blame yourself. You don’t have diabetes because you did something wrong.
Lifestyle does play a role in type 2 diabetes, but genes do as well. For example, someone who has a poor diet and never exercises might not get diabetes, while a person who has a pretty good diet very well might.
You may have just been diagnosed with diabetes, but it is likely you have had abnormal blood glucose levels for the last 5-10 years. Insulin is produced by the beta cells in your pancreas. At the time you were diagnosed, about half of the beta cells had already stopped working. Your pancreas is making half the amount of insulin. This is why your blood sugar levels start to rise.
Diabetes Myths and Realities
Being diagnosed with diabetes can be a source of stress and anxiety, combined with the many prejudices that exist about the disease. Here are the facts to set the record straight.
Myth: Not many people have diabetes.
FACT: Diabetes currently affects over 2 million Canadians. Over 20 people are diagnosed with diabetes every hour of each day.
MYTH: Eating too much sugar causes diabetes.
FACT: Eating too much sugar does not cause diabetes. Eating too many calories can make you overweight. Being overweight is a risk factor for developing diabetes.
Myth: I have diabetes. I have to follow a strict diabetic diet.
FACT: There is no "diabetic diet." People living with diabetes should follow a healthy meal plan based on Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide. This is the same for the general population.
Myth: People start with type 1 diabetes but usually progress to type 2 diabetes.
FACT: Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are different diseases; they are not different stages of the same disease. In type 1 diabetes, the body cannot produce insulin. In type 2 diabetes, the body is not producing enough insulin and not being able to make use of the insulin it produces.
Myth: A person with diabetes must inject themselves every day.
FACT: It is very likely that you do not have to inject yourself with insulin to control your diabetes. In fact, only people living with type 1 diabetes and certain individuals with type 2 diabetes must inject themselves with insulin every day. However, all diabetics must measure their blood glucose levels daily with the help of a meter. Since this device is part of the lifestyle of a person living with diabetes, it is important to find one that fits his/her needs. For example, the BGStar is a blood glucose monitoring device that is simple and efficient and the iBGStar can follow you everywhere by connecting to your iPhone or iPod Touch.
Myth: If you have diabetes, you are more likely to get colds and other illnesses.
FACT: People living with diabetes are not more likely to get a cold or another illness than people without diabetes. However, colds and illnesses can last longer for people living with diabetes. There are many health complications that can happen. This is why it is recommended that people living with diabetes consider getting the flu shot. Any additional stress on the body can make diabetes more difficult to control and can cause an increase in blood glucose.
Want to learn more and get personalized information that corresponds to your needs? Discover the STARsystem website that provides recommended content based on your diabetes profile and helps you manage your blood sugar.
Did You Know?
The word diabetes originates from the Greek word meaning "a siphon." During the 2nd-century A.D., a Greek physician named Aretaeus the Cappadocian explained that patients living with diabetes had excessive urination (called polyuria) and "passed water like a siphon."
The complete term for diabetes is "diabetes mellitus." It was named by Thomas Willis, who was the personal physician to King Charles II. "Mellitus" is the Latin word for honey, which is how Willis described the urine of people living with diabetes ("as if imbued with honey and sugar").