Is Type 2 Diabetes Manageable? Dispelling the Myths

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic, lifelong condition that is often misunderstood. It accounts for the majority of diabetes cases in the United States. It is commonly associated with poor outcomes and long-term complications. While there are many misconceptions and fears associated with type 2 diabetes, the good news is that it is manageable.
If you have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, it is important that you take your diagnosis seriously. With proper management, it can be controlled by making healthy lifestyle choices and working closely with your healthcare provider. Managing your diabetes can also help reduce your risk of developing complications.
The key to successfully managing your type 2 diabetes is understanding the facts. Being informed is a first step to taking control of your health. Once you understand the facts, you can be proactive about dispelling myths surrounding the condition and feel inspired to take action.
Lilly is also working to help you take control of your health through clinical trial participation. Click here to learn more.
Fact or Fiction
Continue reading to review some common type 2 diabetes myths and facts.
MYTH: I will have diabetes because several people in my family have it and there’s nothing I can do about it.
FACT: While having a family history of diabetes does increase your risk of developing the condition, it is not the only contributing factor. It does not guarantee that you will automatically have diabetes. The development of type 2 diabetes can be influenced by a combination of genetics and lifestyle. Even though you can’t control your genetics, you can control your lifestyle.
MYTH: If I have excess weight, it is only a matter of time before I develop type 2 diabetes.
FACT: Having excess weight is among the strongest risk factors for type 2 diabetes. The more excess weight you carry, the higher your risk. While having excess weight is another risk factor of diabetes, it is not the only contributor. This risk also varies among individuals which is why some people with excess weight never develop diabetes and others who are at a healthy weight do.
MYTH: I have not experienced any symptoms so my blood sugars must be normal.
FACT: High blood sugar levels can occur without notable symptoms especially in the early ages. On the other hand, some people do experience symptoms. High blood sugar levels can still contribute to long term damage, even if you aren’t experiencing symptoms.
Common symptoms of high blood sugar include:

Increased thirst
Increased hunger
Frequent urination
Unexplained tiredness
Unexplained weight loss

MYTH: I have to stick to a specific diet in order to manage diabetes.
FACT: There is not a one-size-fits-all diet for people living with diabetes. It is most important to make healthy food choices, and it’s recommended that you follow a meal plan that is specific to your health needs and lifestyle. Key components for managing your diet include carbohydrate management, portion control, and consistency.
MYTH: I don’t need to take medication to manage my diabetes.
FACT: There are several factors that determine whether you will need to take medication to manage your diabetes. Lifestyle changes can be highly effective in managing the condition. While some people are able to successfully manage their condition without medication, others may require multiple medications and that’s okay.
Remember that your type 2 diabetes journey is unique. You should discuss with your healthcare provider whether or not medications are needed. Work with your care team to adjust your treatment plan based on your specific needs and goals.

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