May 29, 2019 • Longeviti

10 Harmful Misconceptions About Type 2 Diabetes

There is a lot of confusion and misinformation regarding Diabetes, a disease that affects over 9% of the US population. Of the approximately 30,000,000 people affected, over 90% of them suffer from type 2 diabetes. In this blog, we address some of the major misconceptions people have about type 2 diabetes.

False: Type 2 diabetes is much less serious than type 1

Without treatment, both types can be fatal.  Type 1 and type 2 diabetes (90+% of cases) taken together, are the seventh leading cause of death In the US. Complications from the disease. Include, stroke, heart attack, kidney disease, neuropathy, loss of vision, and amputation. Type 2 diabetes is pretty serious!

False: Eating excess amounts of sugar causes type 2 diabetes

It’s less about sugar and more about insulin.

In type 2 diabetes, the body becomes less sensitive to or may fail to make sufficient amounts of insulin, a vital hormone produced in the pancreas that regulates the absorption of sugar (glucose) from the blood into the liver and fat and muscle cells.

Given the prevalence of the disease, it comes as a surprise to many that the medical Establishment hasn’t come to a definitive consensus regarding the cause of type 2 diabetes. 

False: Only the obese or those overweight are at risk for type 2 diabetes

Obesity is a well-understood risk factor for type 2 diabetes, but it is not the only risk factor or the cause of the disease. There are other risk factors, including family history, age, and descent.  African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders all bear a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

False: When you have type 2 diabetes, you always display the symptoms of type 2 diabetes

 Not necessarily. Type 2 symptoms can develop gradually, over time. The CDC estimates that up to 35 % of sufferers may not know they have the disease. At first, the symptoms may be perceived as minor or temporary or be confused with the symptoms of other medical conditions.

  • Early symptoms include increased thirst, hunger. Later on, one may experience weight-loss, fatigue, vision issues, and slow healing of wounds.

False: I’m only “pre-diabetic,” so I’m good for now

It’s not good.

Physicians routinely use medical tests to establish whether or not a given patient meets the clinical definition of a person with type 2 diabetes,  and if a patient’s test results don’t reach that threshold, they are not diagnosed as diabetic.

However, when a physician tells a patient that they are “pre-diabetic,”  what they are saying is that the patient is at extremely high risk for developing the disease!

 False: With type 2 diabetes, you won’t need to take insulin

Doctors used to call type 2 diabetes “non-insulin dependent.” They don’t, any more!

Insulin may not be required, and it may never be. But, as the disease progresses, symptoms worsen, and complications arise, insulin becomes a necessary part of the management of the disease.

False: People with type 2 diabetes have to eat a special packaged diet that eliminates all sugars and starches

Fortunately, type 2 patients are not chained to a diet of special, diabetic, or even dietetic foods. That’s good because those foods tend to be very expensive and relatively unappetizing.

  • Sugar in the blood (Glucose) results from eating carbohydrates
  • To manage blood sugar, the number of carbohydrates must be controlled.

The preferred approach is to eat a healthy diet that includes fresh fruits, vegetables, and some whole grains.

For those dealing with the disease, working closely with your Longeviti Health physician and a registered dietitian with whom you can share your food preferences, will enable you to arrive at an eating plan that, within reason, includes your favorite foods.

The type and amount of exercise in which you engage will also have an impact on the limits of your eating plan.

False: You must not exert yourself with type 2 diabetes

It’s just the opposite. Muscles need to move to reduce blood sugar.

To manage diabetes effectively, patients should engage in daily exercise.  Exercise also helps the body by increasing its cells’ sensitivity to insulin, thus enabling them to utilize insulin more effectively.

 False: There is a cure for type 2 diabetes

  • There is no cure for type 2 diabetes.
  • Type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease that responds well to early treatment.

“Remission” is possible

Many patients who were able to work with diabetes disease management teams early in the progression of their disease have achieved remission through an effective combination of diet, medication, and exercise. These patients saw their blood glucose levels decline to levels where their medication was no longer necessary.

Remission vs. Cure — What’s the difference?

Doctors call this a “remission” as opposed to a cure because they know that many patients are likely to relapse should they discontinue the beneficial and necessary changes they have made to their lifestyles.

Another way to experience similar positive effects is to undergo bariatric (weight-loss) surgery. Unfortunately, patients who have had the procedure are still subject to relapse.

The improvements experienced by many patients resulting from either lifestyle change or surgery have been remarkable and include the prevention, the delay, and a reduction in the severity of both the symptoms and the complications of the disease.


False: There is nothing I can do!

We know that type 2 diabetes:

  • has no cure
  • may result in stroke, heart Attack, kidney disease, neuropathy, loss of vision, amputation, and death
  • may be prevented, delayed or diminished by making a few very beneficial lifestyle changes at the earliest opportunity

If we know that type 2 diabetes may be prevented, then ignoring a diagnosis of “pre-diabetes” is self-destructive.  


Even those with multiple risk factors may still be able to prevent the disease.

Recent research indicates that you can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent, if you:

  • lose just 7 percent of your body weight
  • exercise 30 minutes per day x 5 days a week

If you have any of the risk factors or early symptoms of the disease, reach out to your Longevity Health physician for a definitive diagnosis, treatment and a personalized eating and fitness plan.

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