Q: Type I diabetes is the most common form of diabetes.
A: False. Type I diabetes accounts for less than 10 percent of diabetes cases in the U.S. Type I diabetes occurs when the pancreas is not able to produce insulin to control blood sugar levels. Type I diabetes is often caused by uncontrollable factors like genetics. Insulin therapy and blood sugar monitoring are among the treatments for people living with Type I diabetes. Less than 10% of all diabetes cases are Type I diabetes.
Q. A diagnosis of pre-diabetes means the patient must go on medication right away
.A: False. Dr. Sarah Anderson, an assistant professor at the University of Colorado Denver School of Pharmacy, pointed to a study done at George Washington University where a group of pre-diabetic patients were separated into three groups. One group received a placebo, one received medication and the third received lifestyle coaching. The group that received lifestyle coaching lost an average of 15 lbs. by adopting a low calorie diet and exercising at the rate of a brisk walk or more for at least 30 min a day, five days a week. This lifestyle group reduced their risk of diabetes by 58 percent while the medication group only saw a 31 percent reduction.
The bottom line? Lifestyle changes are more effective than medication at preventing diabetes.
Blood tests are needed to determine if someone can be considered pre-diabetic. Check with your doctor for more information.
Q: Type II diabetes is caused by lifestyle factors, such as lack of exercise and a high-calorie diet.
A: True. One of the most common misconceptions about Type II diabetes is that eating sugar will cause the disease. In reality, a combination of undesirable lifestyle factors cause the body to become insulin resistent. Lifestyle factors like not getting enough exercise to use the glucose in the blood and being overweight contribute to the development of Type II diabetes.
Q: Everyone with diabetes is on a diabetic diet
A: False. Dr. Anderson emphasizes that there is no such thing as a diabetic diet. People with diabetes can account for cultural tastes as well as any food allergies or preferences when planning their meals. The key is to plan meals that are properly balanced and proportioned by using the customized guidelines provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture at mypyramid.gov. People with diabetes also need to plan meals and snacks throughout the day to maintain proper blood sugar levels.
5. Women who develop diabetes during pregnancy will have diabetes for the rest of their lives
A: False. Between 5 and 10 percent of pregnant women in Colorado develop gestational diabetes. Proper nutrition and exercise during pregnancy can help prevent the onset of gestational diabetes. The diabetes symptoms usually disappear after giving birth; however, the mother is at a significantly higher risk of developing type II diabetes later. Over half of women with gestational diabetes in Colorado develop type II diabetes five to ten years after their pregnancy.
6. Children are the most affected by diabetes in Colorado.
A: False. People over 65 are the most affected by diabetes in Colorado to the tune of about 15 percent of the population. However, it is important to note that childhood obesity is greatly increasing the number of children with type II diabetes.