Author's Perspective: When I was diabetic, I was confused by a lot of the misinformation about diabetes. People who I thought were experts turned out not to be experts. Fortunately, because of my science background, it made it easier for me to separate fact from fiction.
The one important thing to remember about most of these myths is that they are designed to keep you afraid, uncertain, diabetic and/or dependent on drugs, uninformed doctors and other so-called "experts".
I learned very quickly that the only person who had a vested interest in my long-term non-drug health was me! -- so, I had to become my own expert.
There are many myths about diabetes. Some of the myths were started through ignorance, others by doctors, dietitians and diabetes educators, others by flawed studies, and still more exist because of slick manipulative marketing, lack of knowledge, resistance to change by diabetics, and taking the path of least resistance.
Although it is very important to learn everything you can about diabetes, it may be just as important to unlearn a lot of things you believe to be true about diabetes, drugs, and nutrition.
Here are some of the many myths and misunderstandings about diabetes, drugs, nutrition and other related topics.
Myth: Diabetes is just a little sugar problem – it’s not that serious.
Truth: Diabetes is a disease that affects trillions of cells in the body and, gradually, leads to complications such as heart attack, stroke, amputation, kidney failure, and blindness. So, diabetes is a very serious problem . . . a very serious problem.
Myth: Only some people end up with a major health problem such as a leg amputation, kidney failure, blindness, heart attack, or stroke.
Truth: No! All diabetics eventually end up with one or more diabetic complications such as a leg amputation, kidney failure, blindness, heart attack, or stroke. Other complications include high blood pressure, gum disease, bladder control problems, frequent infections, erectile dysfunction (or sexual dysfunction).
Myth: Eating sweets causes diabetes.
Truth: Eating sweets does not cause diabetes – they make you fat, which can lead to diabetes.
Myth: Type 2 diabetes is hereditary and runs in families.
Truth: Although your genetics can play a partial role in diabetes, the eating and cooking habits that are passed down from one generation to the next are more significant contributors, when combined with a sedentary lifestyle. Look at your genetics as being the “loaded gun” and your eating habits/lifestyle as “pulling the trigger”. As long as you don’t pull the trigger, the loaded gun can’t harm you! Your body may have a genetic predisposition to acquire diabetes, but, if you make better decisions than your ancestors about food, exercise, and lifestyle, then it is not a forgone conclusion that you will become diabetic.
Food for Thought: Our genes haven't changed in thousands of years, but, our eating habits have ...
Myth: As long as the diabetic medications keep the blood glucose readings in the normal range, the diabetes is under control.
Truth: This may be the biggest and most dangerous of the myths because it creates a false sense of security that everything is fine. But, it's not! The drugs cover up the disease by controlling the symptoms. The disease is still spreading from cell to cell, causing undetectable damage to the liver, kidneys, eyes, feet, heart , brain and other organs -- diabetes is a silent, rotting disease!
Myth: Only fat people become diabetic.
Truth: Actually, there are thin people who become diabetic -- in fact, almost 19% of diabetics are not fat. Diabetes is a biochemical/hormonal disease, not a disease from being overweight.
Myth: There is no cure for diabetes – once a diabetic, always a diabetic.
Truth: This was the first thing that the author was told when he was in the hospital. The medical treatment protocol for Type 2 diabetes is drug therapy, which is designed to suppress the symptoms of the disease and not address the root causes of the disease. And, therefore, the medical experts are right -- diabetes cannot be cured.
However, if you change what is fueling the disease, then, there is sufficient clinical evidence that shows lifestyle changes (such as nutrition, exercise, testing, and spiritual health) can prevent and control Type 2 diabetes. And, once the diabetes is under control, further lifestyle changes may reverse the effects of the disease – if the treatment focuses on repairing the trillions of defective cells.
Myth: Once your doctor puts you on insulin, you're on insulin for the rest of your life.
Truth: Obviously, this is not true! This is what the author was told while in the hospital. Luckily for him, he didn't listen.
However, to be fair, from the doctor's perspective, he/she believes that diabetics aren't going to change their diet and lifestyle. So, in that case, the doctor is right. As long as you don't change, you will be on insulin for the rest of your life.
Myth: You can eat whatever you want -- as long as you adjust your drug dosage.
Truth: Unfortunately, that's what a lot of Type 1 children and their parents are told. A lot of Type 2 s are told the same thing -- just increase your drug dosage. This leads to the "insulin-addiction trap". Anyone with common sense knows that you can't eat whatever you want without suffering some consequences.
Sometimes we are told what we want to hear -- but, that doesn't make it right.
Myth: Diabetes is not as serious if you are taking pills instead of insulin.
Truth: Diabetes should be taken as seriously regardless of whether you are taking pills or injections. Unfortunately, because we live in a drug-tolerant society that sees pills as “normal”, we don’t really believe our health is in any danger if we are taking pills. Either way, the diabetes will still progress and lead to other health complications. In fact, pills lull diabetics into a comfort zone and a false sense of wellness that eventually fails them.
Author’s Note: A co-worker thought that he was safe taking a pill, but today is on insulin because the disease continued to progress.
Myth: You can control your diabetes by avoiding the carbs.
Truth: You may be able to temporarily lower your blood glucose level, but you can’t avoid a major macronutrient such as carbohydrates and expect to get healthy. Besides, not all carbohydrates are bad – it’s the refined carbohydrates such as white bread, pasta, and cereals that are the problem. However, good carbohydrates, such as broccoli and Brussel sprouts, actually provide some of the missing saccharides, which help to repair the cells and reduce the insulin resistance.
Note: Recent research indicates that cells have a thin carbohydrate (“sugar”) coating (glycocalyx) of glycoproteins and glycolipids that support cellular communications and the immune and endocrine systems.
Myth: It costs more to eat healthy foods.
Truth: It does cost more to eat healthy foods – in the short term. Fresh vegetables and fruits cost more than a box of macaroni and cheese. Sprouted-grain bread cost more than wheat bread. Organic brown rice cost more than white rice.
However, in the long term, as your health improves, you will save money with over-the-counter drugs, prescription drugs, doctor visits, physical exams, hospital stays, and the quantity of groceries.
Myth: Most people (including diabetics) do not like taking drugs.
Truth: Surprisingly, most people prefer to take drugs – in lieu of making changes to their lifestyle, nutrition, or exercise regimen. Most people will deny that they like taking drugs, but the facts show that more than 65% of the people in the United States take prescription and/or over-the-counter drugs; and, more than 60% take multiple drugs. This is due to our intolerance to personal pain and suffering – why suffer if there’s a drug that will eliminate the pain? Also, there is the belief that the drugs are “working” because they do what they are advertised to do, e.g. reduce pain, lower blood pressure, lower blood glucose, lower cholesterol. It will require a major paradigm shift in our thinking to move away from drugs as the solution to our health problems.
Myth: Once you have diabetes there is nothing you can do. You must listen to the doctor and take any medication he prescribes to lower your blood sugar.
Truth: Diabetes is the easiest disease to reverse. With diet, exercise and nutritional supplements you can reverse type 2 diabetes.
Myth: Type 2 diabetes is genetic. If others in your family have type 2 diabetes chances are that you will get it.
Truth: That is nonsense. If you keep eating the way they do, you will most likely get type 2 diabetes and so will the majority of people who eat the same way. If you follow the recommendation of Dr. Bernstein to modify your diet or if you follow the recommendation of Engineer DeWayne McCulley (author of "Death to Diabetes) to eat a plant-based diet and exercise on a regular basis, you will not have high blood sugar.
Myth: My doctor says that people who advocate the use of vitamins are irresponsible.
Truth: Vitamins alone don't work, but, people who use (the right kind of) wholefood vitamins in conjunction with a superior nutritional program are healthier and more aware of how their body is functioning.
Myth: My doctor says it's ridiculous to think that (Type 2) diabetes can be reversed.
Truth: People who use (the right kind of) wholefood vitamins in combination with a superior nutritional program are healthier and more aware of how their body is functioning.
Doctors in this country are not trained in preventive medicine or nutritional science therefore they do not believe in it. They are trained to cut, remove and medicate. Your doctor is jealous because he is not getting a kickback from the drug companies for the prescriptions he would be writing for you. Instead you will be too healthy to require his services in the future.
Doctors in this country are not trained in preventive medicine or nutritional science; therefore, they do not believe in it. They are trained to cut, remove and medicate; and receive kickbacks from the drug companies for the prescriptions he would be writing for you. Instead, you will be too healthy to require his services in the future and he won't be able to make any money off of your health.
Myth: You can control and reverse your diabetes with surgery.
Truth: No! Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic, hormonal disease! You can't cut it out of your body! You have to change the biochemistry inside your body and your cells! Some doctors are pushing surgery because they know that you now know that drugs don't work. So, their only other option is to offer some "special" type of surgery.
Myth: If you're a Type 1 diabetic, diet changes won't help.
Truth: Most Type 1s will have to take insulin, but they can dramatically reduce the amount of insulin with a superior nutritional program.
Myth: People who say diabetes can be reversed are just trying to sell you their book or someone else's book.
Truth: Actually, that may be true! :-) That's one of the reasons why the author of Death to Diabetes explains his program on his website -- so that you can verify the program for yourself before you buy the book.
Myth: Type 2 diabetes is partially due to a worn-out pancreas that is overworked from constant high glucose levels.
Truth: This is very controversial because the medical profession continues to tell us that part of the Type 2 diabetes problem is our pancreas. But, this is totally misunderstood. Sure, the pancreas works overtime pumping out more and more insulin to meet the demands of the high glucose levels. And, after a period of many years this can wear out the pancreas.
But, what is not communicated to the patient is that the reason why the pancreas wears out is because the diabetic drugs do nothing to stop the progression of the disease! The diabetic drugs do nothing to stop the pancreas from overworking. In fact, some of these drugs (such as Glucotrol) actually stimulate the pancreas to produce even more insulin, leading to beta cell burnout!
As a result, your pancreas may wear itself out! The key here is to lower the insulin resistance and inflammation within the cells (with diet and exercise) so that the pancreas stops overworking and producing excess insulin.
To summarize, those are just some of the dispelled myths about diabetes and how to reverse its progression. You must remember that natural remedies take time. If you don't have the patience and determination you will lose and the diabetes will win.
Most people will complain that the "natural" way did not work for them. But they don't or won't make a complete diet and lifestyle reversal. Instead they will pick and choose what they like about the program, justify their cheating and then complain that it did not work for them overnight.
Note: For more information, refer to The 7 Mistakes and Myths ebook.
More Myths About Diabetes
Following are some additional myths about diabetes, drugs and diet, written from the author's perspective.
The American Diabetes Association is searching for a cure. Yeah, right --sure, they are. They are simply taking your money and promoting the drug and food companies agenda. That’s in my opinion and in those of many other diabetics. By the way, I worked (as a volunteer) for the ADA for more than 3 years, so I know how they operate.
Being fat makes you diabetic. Not always -- there are some very fat people who are not diabetic. And, by the way, there are some thin people who are also diabetic.
Being fat by itself doesn't make you diabetic, but, if you have other risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, a sedentary lifestyle, etc. then, it increases your chances of becoming diabetic.
Also, even if you're not diabetic, being fat is, in many ways, its own disease because it causes many health problems such as high blood pressure, chronic fatigue, thyroid dysfunction, heart disease, etc.
Cinnamon lowers blood sugars. While cinnamon can enhance the tastes of foods, it has not been proven to lower blood sugar readings over the long term. There was a study that showed a reduction in blood sugar but it did not last. Subsequent studies have not shown any significant, lasting benefit from cinnamon. Gorging on cinnamon can cause liver inflammation so use it in moderation.
Diabetics should be on a low fat diet. Not true. Diabetics need the good fats in their diets just like everyone else. Due to the "fat phobia" created by medical experts, these low fat diets led to the obesity epidemic, which led to the diabetes epidemic.
Insulin cures diabetes. No! It helps control sugar levels by pushing glucose into the cells. The underlying causes are unchanged so the diabetes continues to progress and cause rot and damage to all parts of the body -- leading to the need for more insulin. This eventually leads to weight gain,blindness, kidney failure, amputation, heart attack or stroke.
The only way to treat diabetes is with medicine. Wow, I could write for days on this. To me, taking medication for type 2 diabetes is a short term solution. Once you change your diet and exercise routines, medicine should be unneeded. On this subject I will be at odds with traditionally educated doctors.
Treating diabetes with medication is all I need to do. If that were so then how do you explain the shortened lifespan of a diabetic?
My doctor is my friend. Really? Would a friend put you on toxic drugs that may eventually kill you? By the way, when was the last time your "friend" invited you to his home for a social gathering?
I feel fine. I got time. Diabetes is a silent, slow, rotting disease that doesn't exhibit any symptoms for many years. In the meantime, your blood vessels and other organs are deteriorating. Then, one day ... Bam! ... And, don't think it won't happen to you -- that's what they all say until the day arrives ...
As long as I take my pills or shots I can eat anything. If you believe this, I have a bridge to sell you. Pills or shots only hide the symptoms of your diabetes, while the diabetes continues to rot out your body!
Diabetes is incurable. At least that is what we’ve all been told. Is diabetes curable? Somehow these experts haven’t talked to all the people who are living medication and insulin free. You won’t see their stories in the popular diabetes magazines either. That doesn’t sell advertising to drug companies.
There are many former diabetics who lead drug free lives because they changed their former self destructive eating habits and added regular exercise. Every day there are more people saying that diabetes can be reversed. Today, there are many doctors like Dr. Rosedale, Dr. Mercola, Dr. Young, and Dr. Oz who are challenging this myth and proving it to be untrue.
But, despite what you may have heard, there is no pill you can take to cure diabetes or any other similar disease.
Sidebar: In addition to these myths and misunderstandings about diabetes, there are just as many myths and misunderstandings about food. For example, there are a lot of so-called healthy foods that have been marketed as such -- but, as it turns out, they're not healthy at all! So, you may think you're eating healthy, but you're not.
Disclaimer: This site does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
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