Let’s Talk Diabetes – Myth Busters

Going through my daily activities, I often run in to a lot of “diabetes myths”. When people find out I have diabetes, I start to hear things like, “Oh, do you have the bad kind?”, “So you ate a lot of sugar as a kid?”, “Is that a pager? I didn’t even know people still used those!”, or my favorite, “Wait, you can eat that?”… So I thought it might be kind of fun to share my thoughts and bust the myths.

There is no “bad” or “good” kind of diabetes. Each type has its own challenges and some come with different treatment therapies but when I get asked if I have the “good” or “bad” kind, I’m probably going to roll my eyes and say, “neither”. Living with type 1 diabetes can be difficult, yes; but I have no right to say that it is any harder to live with then people who have type 2. There is no “good” type but that doesn’t mean we have to look at it as “bad” either.

“So you got diabetes because you ate a lot of sugar as a kid?” No. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that frankly, I had no control over. For whatever reason, my body’s immune system decided to attack the healthy insulin-producing cells that I had, and left me with a pancreas that produces little or no insulin.

“Is that a pager on your hip?” I wear an insulin pump that does look somewhat like a pager (minus the tubing and the small catheter that connects it to me). As mentioned in a previous blog, insulin pumps can be a great way to create more freedom and control with diabetes.

“Wait, you can eat that?” Yes I can eat a cookie or ice cream; sugar is not the enemy! Sugar and carbohydrates in good moderation are perfectly fine, just as they are for a person without diabetes. While we might have to manage them a little differently, we do not have to cut out sweets completely.

Hopefully these “myth busters” are helpful, not only for people with diabetes to relate to, but also for people that might be asking these questions! -SY