Busting myths for Diabetes Week
It’s Diabetes Week – an annual campaign to raise awareness about the condition.
Never has diabetes been more prevalent; in the UK alone 3.5 million people are living with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, and a further 549,000 people don’t yet know they have it.
Most of us know a friend or family member living with diabetes, yet for all its visibility, there are still many myths and misconceptions out there.
This year, the campaign is focused on helping people better understand and manage their diabetes – 65 people a day die early from the condition and hundreds more face complications that could have been avoided or delayed with better knowledge and support.
Clearing up the myths
While cancer and dementia may get more attention, more people have diabetes than the two diseases combined.
When diagnosed with diabetes it’s still possible to live a healthy, rounded and full life and enjoy all the same things as people without diabetes. Here are some commonly held myths and the truth behind them:
Myth: Type 2 diabetes is a “mild form” of diabetes
There’s no such thing as a touch of diabetes; both forms are serious and can lead to serious complications if left untreated.
Myth: Diabetic people need “diabetic” food
This is false – strictly speaking, there’s no such thing as diabetic foods, and foods – particularly sweets – with ‘diabetic’ labelling can be misleading. All sweets, biscuits and high fat foods will affect your blood glucose levels, including specially formulated foods like diabetic chocolate. Diabetes UK doesn’t endorse eating ‘diabetic’ foods – if you’re going to treat yourself, it’s best to go for the real thing, and enjoy treats in moderation.
Myth: People with diabetes should avoid grapes, mangoes and bananas
A commonly believed myth is that some fruits are off limits to people living with diabetes as they taste so sweet. Like all fruit, grapes and bananas make a healthy choice; they are high in fibre and low in fat and packed with vitamins and minerals. You can still achieve blood glucose control when including them in your diet.
Myth: People with diabetes should avoid sport
Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, and keeping active can help reduce the risk of complications as a result of diabetes. Before taking up a new exercise regime there may be some considerations worth speaking to your doctor about first, but in general, there’s no reason to avoid sport. Olympic gold-medal rower Steve Redgrave never let diabetes stop him!
Finding out more about diabetes
If you’re interested in finding out more about diabetes, you can find plenty of resources on Silversurfers to help you on your way:
- Read our guide to Beating Diabetes for World Health Day
- Lowering your risk of Type 2 Diabetes
- Tips for Managing Type 2 Diabetes
- Our guide to Stop Diabetes Developing
- Online recipes for diabetics
- 3 delicious dessert recipes for diabetics
Do you know anyone with diabetes, or do you have it yourself? Share your experiences in the comments below!
Have you got a health question?
We've teamed up with AXA PPP healthcare to bring you articles, information and tips from their clinical teams on a wide range of health topics. And if you have a question of your own, their, "Ask the Expert" service allows you to ask the team of friendly, experienced nurses, pharmacists and midwives about any health topic and they'll get back to you with an answer as soon as they’re able.* So if you have something that’s been bothering you, whether it concerns you or someone close to you, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Click below to submit your query online.
* Nurses are available 24/7, 365 days a year. Midwives and pharmacists are available Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm; Saturday, 8am to 4pm; and Sunday, 8am to 12pm.
Actual response time will depend on the nature of your enquiry and availability of appropriately qualified experts but the team will always aim to get back to you within 24 hours.
Please note that our Expert Help services are there to offer health information and support. They do not diagnose or prescribe, and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice given in the context of an individual consultation.
Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor
Latest posts by Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor (see all)
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!