Approximately 422 million people in the world suffer from some type of diabetes today. More than 30 million people in the US alone have some sort of diabetes – and a huge number of these individuals are unaware of their condition, which can be managed and treated to prevent some of the serious complications that may arise including amputation, loss of vision, and nerve damage. Getting tested regularly and being aware of the most important facts and fictions surrounding diabetes can help raise awareness of this potentially deadly disease.
- Only adults get diabetes.
This is not actually true. In fact, type I diabetes is most often diagnosed during childhood.
- Type 2 diabetes is usually diagnosed in older people.
That is not true. People 30 years or older are most often diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, but it is not unknown in younger individuals and even children.
- Type 1 diabetes is ONLY diagnosed in younger people.
This is also not true. While most people are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as children or young adults, older individuals can also develop this disease. Halle Berry was diagnosed at age 22, Mary Tyler Moore at 33, and Elizabeth Perkins at age 44.
- Only overweight people are at risk of diabetes.
Nope. While type 2 diabetes is often associated with obesity, people with a healthy BMI may also be diagnosed with this disease. And there is no correlation between type 1 diabetes and either obesity or a high BMI.
- All people with diabetes need insulin treatments.
Not true. In fact, most people with type 2 diabetes are treated initially without any type of medication, and in some people diet and exercise can actually reverse the condition.
- If you take insulin, you will always have to take insulin.
Again, this is not true. While those with type 1 diabetes will always need to take insulin, those who develop type 2 diabetes may be able to go off of their medication eventually with proper lifestyle changes.
- Diabetes won’t kill you.
Unfortunately, this isn’t true. Untreated diabetes CAN kill. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, diabetes is one of the leading causes of death worldwide.
- Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of this disease.
This is true. Type 2 diabetes accounts not only for the majority of cases of diabetes in the US, but worldwide.
- Diabetes causes kidney disease.
This can be true. All types of diabetes, untreated, can lead to complication including kidney failure, foot and leg amputations, vision loss, nerve damage, stroke, and heart attack.
- It’s easy to diagnose diabetes.
Yes and no. If you get yourself tested regularly, it is easy to catch this disease early – but almost a third of those with diabetes are unaware that they have the disease because the early symptoms can be so subtle.
If you suspect that you or someone you love have diabetes, see your doctor as soon as possible. The best chance for living a long, healthy life is to get treatment as soon as possible. And if you need additional in-home care or support, reach out to Specialty Care Services today.