Over a period of time, many myths have been associated with diabetes, and such myths may be collectively describes as Diabetes Myths. Some of the most prominent myths identified by the American Diabetes Association include the following:
- Diabetes is an infectious disease, and one can catch it from someone else: It is a wrong notion.
- People with diabetes are required to eat a very special diet meant for them: It is not correct if a person is able to maintain his/ her blood glucose level within normal ranges by medication, etc.
- Some people believe that fruits are healthy and a person with diabetes may take large quantity of fruits. Fruits should certainly feature in a diabetic diet but only after proper carbohydrate counting and consultations with health care personnel.
- Many persons believe that persons with diabetes should consume mostly starchy foods like bread, pasta and potatoes. However, including starchy foods is a part of good meal planning, and they should form part of a healthy diet, and "whole grain breads, cereals, pasta, rice and starchy vegetables like potatoes, yams, peas and corn can be included in your meals and snacks" should be included in any healthy meal plan - for a person with or without diabetes. For persons with diabetes the portion should be controlled.
- Diabetes is caused by consuming a lot of sugar: It is not so. A number of genetic and lifestyle factors are responsible for diabetes.
- Many believe that use of insulin causes atherosclerosis, that is, hardening of the arteries; and high blood pressure. However, clinical researches have proved that though insulin use results into initiation of the early processes associated with atherosclerosis, insulin is not the reason for atherosclerosis and blood pressure.
- Many persons believe that insulin causes weight gain, and as obesity is bad for health, insulin should not be taken. However, researche findings by the United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS) and Diabetes Control & Complications Trial (DCCT) indicate that the advantage of using insulin to manage blood sugar far outweighs (no pun intended) the risk gaining weight, if any.