Myths & Misconceptions About Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease, which means that even if you control your blood sugar carefully and follow the treatment plan recommended by your healthcare provider, you will continue to have diabetes throughout your life. However, just because you have diabetes, it doesn’t mean that your chances for leading a healthy and happy life are decreased.

With today’s advances in diabetes treatment and care, most people can:

  • Continue to lead full and active lives
  • Enjoy the foods and activities they have always enjoyed
  • Take part in almost any form of regular physical activity

You have many tools at your disposal to help you live with diabetes, including your healthcare provider (doctor, nurse practitioner [NP], or physician assistant [PA]), your diabetes educator, and various specialists you will see (eg, optometrist or ophthamologist, registered dietitian, podiatrist) . You also have a large community of people who, just like you, are living with diabetes and making healthy choices to control their blood glucose and prevent complications. So, remember, reach out to your healthcare provider and your community to get the information and support that will allow you live a healthy life with diabetes.

Take advantage of Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES)!
Medicare and by most private health insurance plans will cover DSMES services if you have type 2 diabetes. These service cover diabetes education and support provided by a American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE)-certified diabetes educator. A diabetes educator is a healthcare professional who specializes in helping people with and at risk for diabetes and related complications to make behavioral changes designed to help them better manage their condition and lead a healthier life. DSMES services focus on seven important self-care behaviors that are keys to living a healthy life with type 2 diabetes:

  • Healthy eating
  • Being active
  • Monitoring blood glucose
  • Taking medication
  • Problem solving
  • Healthy coping
  • Reducing risks for health complications

Ask your doctor, PA, or NP to refer you to a local DSMES provider. If your provider is not familiar with DSMES services or the referral process, you can direct them to the AADE website or download and print DSMES information and a referral form and give it to your provider yourself.

Make sure you get the latest most reliable care information

The easy availability of information about diabetes on the Internet, the radio and TV, and elsewhere can be a double-edged sword. Along with good reliable information about diabetes, you may also get misinformation: myths and misconceptions that can lead to confusion about what you should do to control your diabetes and take care of yourself. Making sure you have the most up-to-date, reliable information about diabetes care is also especially important at the present time because management and care for diabetes has changed so dramatically over the past couple decades.

So it’s important for you to GET THE CURRENT FACTS about diabetes. Learning all you can about diabetes and separating truth from common myths and misconceptions, will help you understand the many options you have for treatments that will allow you to live a healthy life with diabetes.

We organize common myths and misconceptions about diabetes into the following groups:

  • How diabetes will affect you
  • Who gets diabetes
  • Diabetes and healthy eating
  • Treatments for diabetes
Written by: Jonathan Simmons | Last reviewed: May 2014.