Diabetes: Rumors VS. Truth

Type I Diabetes runs in my family, so I grew up in a ‘diabetic friendly environment’. Occasionally, I forget that the lucky non-diabetic people have limited information about how we (people with diabetes) live with the disease and it’s consequences.

So… before I begin to write posts about my adventures with starting on insulin pump therapy, I want y’all to have  some background knowledge and dispel any ridiculous incorrect information you may have heard about the disease (or its victims).

Diabetics cannot have any sugar or they will go into a coma. Although it is true that we need to severely limit our intake of sugar, eating sugar will not make us fall over into a deep sleep.

Coma happens to diabetics that are not being treated or have not been diagnosed. An undiagnosed diabetic who does not eat sugar or a lot of carbohydrates, can still have drastically high blood glucose levels, and over time, will eventually become ill enough to be comatose.

If you eat too much sugar you will get diabetes. Totally not true. Ever.

Severe low blood sugar

High blood sugar is more dangerous than low blood sugar.  False. Low blood sugar (under 60 mg/dL) can  cause sweaty clamminess, shaking, irritability, or violence. Severe low blood sugar (under 40 mg/dL) can cause  seizures, hallucinations, brain damage and death. High blood sugar over time will cause nasty complications, but not the immediate danger low blood sugar does.

Taking good care of yourself can make your diabetes go away. Totally not true. Ever. Diabetes is a disease that causes your pancreas to stop producing the insulin that helps your body break down sugar.

While it is true that a better diet and more exercise will help your body regulate glucose levels, your pancreas will not regenerate its way back to health. (Dammit!)

Diabetics have to eat meals based on recipes in ‘diabetic cookbooks’. No, we don’t!  We can eat any foods ‘normal’ people eat. We only have to ‘do the math’ to adjust our insulin dose and watch portions of carbs and fat.

People always ask me “can you eat this, or have that?” Yes, I can have a piece of that wedding cake. Or fruit salad. Or Christmas cookie. But I shouldn’t have any more than that. It’s a matter of proportion and choice.

Friends worry they will offer me something “bad for me” or “tempt me” into eating things I can’t have by eating them in front of me. STOP worrying! Prepare whatever menu you would like. I know what I should and shouldn’t eat. It is my responsibility – not yours.

I hope that by answering the questions that I am asked the most, will answer questions you may have about diabetes. If you have questions not answered here, please submit your question below. You may also submit diabetes related subject you would like to know more about  🙂



photo credit: DeathByBokeh via photopin cc

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