A few months ago, my team started a project to create a resource that would be useful to patients with diabetes. The first step we took was to speak with our diabetic sock customers and ask them what types of information they would like to see (the resource was for them after all). We were surprised to hear that they didn’t want us to create anything for them; they wanted us to create something to inform the public about the disease.
They later revealed to us that they have heard dozens of outrageous myths related to diabetes and that they wished the public would be informed of the facts. The most outrageous myth they heard was that diabetics should avoid strenuous exercise (such as running and weight lifting) and playing contact sports since they are more likely to get injured. This is an absurd myth, since patients with diabetes are no more likely to get hurt playing sports than patients without the disease. Look at Jay Cutler, the quarterback of the Chicago Bears who is playing in the NFL and absorbs big hits every game. He still gets up and moves on to the next play just like the players without the disease.
Although some people might not be able to exercise due to underlying health conditions that accompany diabetes, diabetes alone should not stop you from strenuous exercise. In fact, 80% of type 2 diabetics can eliminate their insulin dependency by losing weight. To lose weight, one needs to change their diet and incorporate more exercise into their routine. If people believe this myth, they might avoid exercising and lose out on the health benefits, along with eliminating the need for numerous insulin shots a day. As long as your doctor says you are able to exercise as you wish, don’t be afraid to push your body to the limits. While you might feel sore the day after a hard workout, you can rest assure that you are just as likely to feel sore as a person without the disease.
I hope this helps you realize how harmful myths and rumors can be, especially when they’re related to a medical condition. To help raise awareness of the truth behind the disease and end outrageous myths and rumors, we created this info graphic. We’d love to hear any crazy myths you heard that are related to diabetes, or any medical condition, in the comments below!