Myths About Diabetes
Certified Diabetes Educator and Nurses
How to Get Started
What Our Patients are Saying
The Diabetes Management Center provides comprehensive Diabetes
Self-Management Training through classroom and individual instruction. The American
Diabetes Association Education Recognition Program has recognized the Capital
Region Diabetes Management Center as meeting the National Standards for diabetes
The staff at the center collaborates with a patient's physician
to coordinate treatment and preventive services, improve compliance and disease
management for their patients. In addition to the area's most complete staff
of registered dietitians, registered nurses and podiatrists, patients and staff
members can rely on the nearby resources of Capital
Region Family Eye Care, the Capital Region
Healthplex, Capital Region Psychology
and Counseling and the Diabetes Foot Clinic.
Classes are held in the morning, afternoon and evening to accommodate both patients and their families. Individual appointments are also available in the event that prescheduled class times will not work, or when special attention is needed. Classes are conducted in three, short sessions with time to practice in between. Because adults learn best with repetition and it takes on average three weeks to make a lifestyle change, this class format ensures optimal success.
The focus of the DMC classes are to teach patients not what they can't do but what they can do to be healthy. Much of the nutrition information is focused on counting carbs and creating flexible meal plans that can accommodate hectic schedules. On average, patients who come to the DMC lose about seven pounds from the beginning of class to the eight-week follow-up session.
Myths about Diabetes
Myth #1 You can catch diabetes from someone else.
No. Although we don’t know exactly why some people develop diabetes, we know diabetes is not contagious. It can’t be caught like a cold or flu. There seems to be some genetic link in diabetes, particularly type 2 diabetes. Lifestyle factors also play a part.
Myth #2 People with diabetes can't eat sweets or chocolate.
If eaten as part of a healthy meal plan, or combined with exercise, sweets and desserts can be eaten by people with diabetes. They are no more “off limits” to people with diabetes, than they are to people without diabetes.
Myth #3 Eating too much sugar causes diabetes.
No. Diabetes is caused by a combination of genetic and lifestyle factors. However, being overweight does increase your risk for developing type 2 diabetes. If you have a history of diabetes in your family, eating a healthy meal plan and regular exercise are recommended to manage your weight.
Myth #4 People with diabetes should eat special diabetic foods.
A healthy meal plan for people with diabetes is the same as that for everyone – low in fat (especially saturated and trans fat), moderate in salt and sugar, with meals based on whole grain foods, vegetables and fruit. Diabetic and “dietetic” versions of sugar-containing foods offer no special benefit. They still raise blood glucose levels, are usually more expensive and can also have a laxative effect if they contain sugar alcohols.
Myth #5 If you have diabetes, you should only eat small amounts of starchy foods, such as bread, potatoes and pasta.
Starchy foods are part of a healthy meal plan. What is important is the portion size. Whole grain breads, cereals, pasta, rice and starchy vegetables like potatoes, yams, peas and corn can be included in your meals and snacks. The key is portions. For most people with diabetes, having 3-4 servings of carbohydrate-containing foods is about right. Whole grain starchy foods are also a good source of fiber, which helps keep your gut healthy.
Myth #6 People with diabetes are more likely to get colds and other illnesses.
No. You are no more likely to get a cold or another illness if you have diabetes. However, people with diabetes are advised to get flu shots. This is because any infection interferes with your blood glucose management, putting you at risk of high blood glucose levels and, for those with type 1 diabetes, an increased risk of ketoacidosis.
Myth #7 Insulin causes atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and high blood pressure.
No, insulin does not cause atherosclerosis. In the laboratory, there is evidence that insulin can initiate some of the early processes associated with atherosclerosis. Therefore, some physicians were fearful that insulin might aggravate the development of high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries. But it doesn’t.
Myth #8 Insulin causes weight gain, and because obesity is bad for you, insulin should not be taken.
Both the UKPDS (United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study) and the DCCT (Diabetes Control & Complications Trial) have shown that the benefit of glucose management with insulin far outweighs (no pun intended) the risk of weight gain.
Myth #9 Fruit is a healthy food. Therefore, it is ok to eat as much of it as you wish.
Fruit is a healthy food. It contains fiber and lots of vitamins and minerals. Because fruit contains carbohydrate, it needs to be included in your meal plan. Talk to your dietitian about the amount, frequency and types of fruits you should eat.
Myth #10 You don’t need to change your diabetes regimen unless your A1C is greater than 8 percent.
The better your glucose is controlled, the less likely you are to develop complications of diabetes. An A1C in the sevens (7s), however, does not represent good control. The ADA goal is less than 7 percent. The closer your A1C is to the normal range (less than 6 percent), the lower your chances of complications. However, you increase your risk of hypoglycemia, especially if you have type 1 diabetes. Talk with your health care provider about the best goal for you.
Educator and Nurses
Capital Region's Certified Diabetes Educators, Registered
Nurses and Registered Dietitians use an interdisciplinary approach to nutrition, foot care, eye care,
behavior/change management, dental care and exercise. Educators work with those
living with diabetes and their families in both group and individual settings.
- Provide the patient with self-management skills
- Maximize the effectiveness of medical treatment
- Inform patients about the latest in diabetes treatment
- Encourage daily activity and a healthy lifestyle
- Reduce the risk of the long-term complication of diabetes
How to Get Started
The Diabetes Management Center requires a physician order for
participation. Community physicians will continue to follow their patients as
always in their offices, but can refer them to the Diabetes Management Center
for comprehensive diabetes self-management training. The Diabetes Management
Center sends reports to the physicians so they will know that patients have
attended classes and set self-care goals.
What Our Patient’s are Saying
”I was really recluctant to do the class but I was amazed at how much I learned. I’m very glad I took the course.”
”Great! I wish I had this a year ago!”
“Learning that limiting carbs, along with exercise provided me the tools needed to reduce my blood sugar and weight! Great to know I can change.”
“Everything was good and it helped me so very much.”
“I have already seen a change in my numbers, and I have learned a lot. Thank you so much!”