type 1 diabetes myths
Healthy Living

Myth-Busting: Type 1 Diabetes

Mar 21 2018

Only 5% diabetes diagnoses are type 1 diabetics, according to the American Diabetes Association. In years past, this type of diabetes was referred to as juvenile diabetes as the majority of patients diagnosed are children and young adults.

Technology and medicine have come a long way so that type 1 diabetics are able to lead long, healthy and active lives. Yet, there are still myths out there surrounding the disease. We spoke to Mercy Health physician Dr. Parul J. Patel to separate the fiction and the facts.

Myth 1: “You can’t eat that, it has sugar.”

Patients with type 1 diabetes can, in fact, eat a piece of cake or candy.  Type 1 diabetics must take steps to ensure the carbohydrates in the food eaten are covered with an injection of insulin. However, when this is done properly, it is absolutely possible for a type 1 diabetic to indulge occasionally.

Myth 2: “You must have fed your kids too much sugar, because now they have diabetes.”

Type 1 diabetes is not caused by food choices.  There is a great deal of question around the body developing diabetes. However, rather than food, most research shows heredity and viral infections as the main triggers.

Myth 3: “You won’t be able to do much now that you have type 1 diabetes.”

Many individuals with type 1 diabetes have fulfilling careers, including everything from acting to singing to sports and medicine. While these individuals must have insulin therapy, they can lead quite normal lives. Several famous type 1 diabetics include: Mary Tyler Moore, Halle Berry, Olympic swimmer Gary Hall Jr. and NFL quarterback Jay Cutler.

Myth 4: “Your blood sugar is too high (or too low), you must have done something.”

High or low blood sugar can happen for many reasons, including exercise, insulin, stress and more.  This is the nature of the illness, and it is not anyone’s fault.

Myth 5: “You have type 1 diabetes, it is known as the bad kind.”

All types of diabetes are serious health conditions.  While each type of diabetes comes with challenges, people with diabetes can live long, healthy lives when the illness is managed correctly.

Thanks to Dr. Patel for this round of myth-busting! Have a topic you’d like to see us bust the myths on? Let us know in the comments. If you’re in need of a physician to learn more, visit mercy.com or call 513-952-5000 today.

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