If you have diabetes, what I’m about to share with you in this post could prevent you from having a premature heart attack, save your eyesight, kidneys, legs, nerves and even save your life.
1: Diabetes is caused by eating too much sugar
FALSE! Diabetes is not caused by eating too much sugar. There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas completely stops making any insulin, a hormone that helps the body to use glucose (sugar) found in foods for energy. The exact cause or causes of type 1 diabetes is not known, but researchers suspect environmental factors, viruses or genetics play a role. What is known is that eating too many sweets doesn’t cause diabetes!
Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, results when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin and/or is unable to use insulin properly (this is also referred to as ‘insulin resistance’). This form of diabetes usually occurs in people who are over 40 years of age, overweight, and have a family history of diabetes, although today it is increasingly occurring in younger people.
2: If you have diabetes, you can’t lead an active lifestyle
FALSE! This myth is particularly problematic because many long-term studies have shown the positive impact regular physical activities have on lowering glucose. Naturally, any physical fitness program needs to be approved by your diabetes care team prior to starting, but once you’ve settled into a program, being active and healthy with diabetes is absolutely possible and is definitely encouraged!
If you have any complications, such as heart disease, retinopathy (eye disease) or neuropathy (pain or loss of sensation in your feet), talk with your provider before you start any kind of exercise program. You may need special tests to make sure it is safe for you to exercise. If you have never been very active, start slow. Walking and yoga are great ways to ease into an activity program.